Norwegians on holiday not afraid of measles

CHIOS, GREECE measlesCHIOS, HELLAS.Photo: Solveig Vikene / SCANPIX

Norwegians on holiday are not too anxious about catching measles

According to travel companies, Norwegians travel as often as before to countries where there is contagion of the potentially deadly illness, measles.


Norwegians seem more worried about not getting enough sun than they do about the infectious disease in countries where there are measles outbreaks.

Bergensavisen newspaper reported that there have been reports of measles outbreaks in 14 European countries, many of which are among popular holiday destinations, such as Germany, France, Turkey, Italy and Romania.

In Italy and Romania, the risk of infection is considered to be high, according to the National Institute of Public Health.

‘In Norway, bookings for travel to Italy have more than doubled for June and the first two weeks in July, compared to last year. Bookings to Romania have increased by 15%’, said Michael Kapil, Marketing Manager at ‘Ticket’.

Other travel companies have been given a similar impression, that warnings from public health authorities are of little importance when people plan summer vacation travel. Neither ‘Tui’, nor ‘Ving’ travel agencies have registered any decline in orders.

The Norwegian vaccination for measles is given when children are 15 months old, but may be already given at 9 months, for example, if parents plan to travel to areas of infection.

Children between 3 and 9 months of age have insecure protection from antibodies they received from their mother, with resulting uncertainty about the effectiveness of the vaccine. Those who have been vaccinated are considered safe from catching measles.

‘Many European countries have performed poorly, and have left huge portions of their population unvaccinated. We are being punished for that now. It should be 95% of the population who have been vaccinated to be secure,’ said senior physician at the FHI Department of Welfare, Jann Storsæther.

The 14 countries with measles outbreaks are Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today