How to protect yourself from measles in Switzerland and Germany

Written by Staff Writer In light of the recent outbreak of measles in Switzerland, Germany’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn urged Germans to take steps to protect themselves against the disease. According to Swiss…

How to protect yourself from measles in Switzerland and Germany


Written by Staff Writer

In light of the recent outbreak of measles in Switzerland, Germany’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn urged Germans to take steps to protect themselves against the disease.

According to Swiss public health authorities, 158 cases of measles have been reported since July 15 across Switzerland and southern Germany. Some 815 cases were reported in 2018.

Children up to age 18 are required to be vaccinated for measles before traveling outside Switzerland and the South-eastern part of Germany, where about 16.6 million people live.

So far in 2018, people have traveled from Switzerland, neighboring Liechtenstein, and neighbouring Austria.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted Monday that he was grateful to Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset for “bringing this important conversation home for Germans.”

Lauren Barnes, the director of the Swiss national immunization authority, told the Swedish news service TT that the virus “could come to Germany within the next few weeks” and could spread quickly, although the risk of infection is low.

In Switzerland, vaccination rates between measles and rubella are very low, about 65% compared with a requirement of 100%, she said.

But Dr. Christina Cassoni of the Swiss Institute for Childhood and Adolescent Medicine said that “a proportion of unvaccinated children or young adults are at risk of catching measles, which can infect them even if they have recently received a dose of measles and rubella vaccine.”

She recommended avoiding getting measles and getting vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

The national vaccination authority has advised all of Switzerland’s residents to get vaccinated, but the Swiss Foreign Ministry on Tuesday clarified that travel regulations “stand in place for Geneva and related regional centers, which is why the vaccination cannot be visited by non-Swiss citizens from countries that do not have measles or rubella vaccination rates that meet Swiss requirements.”

For those traveling within the European Union, it’s recommended that people meet vaccination standards and that they know the treatment of measles.

In Switzerland, anyone in the country between Nov. 1 and May 31 who shows symptoms of measles must see a doctor or contact the communicable diseases department, says the State Secretariat for Public Health.

Please follow the steps below to prevent the spread of the disease:

· Clear-cut signs and measures to prevent measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, runny nose, runny cheeks and flushed or dark pink eyes.

· Wash hands with soap and water frequently.

· Avoid touching or coughing in the eyes, nose and mouth.

· Avoid shaking hands with other people.

· Wear long sleeve, long pants and socks and loose fitting clothes while outside.

· Avoid public places where there is more than one person.

· Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when in public areas where people gather.

· Make your home and offices sterile by covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or a tissue box.

· Wash hands frequently and thoroughly after using the toilet and after changing diapers.

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