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Travel: Philippines measles outbreak

Health protection teams may find increasing number of suspected measles in travellers coming from the Philippines. 

A measles outbreak in the Philippines has been related to 10 cases of the infection in the UK since 1 December 2013. 

Public Health England's immunisation department has urged healthcare professionals to treat individuals with measles symptoms who have recently travelled to the Philippines as "likely measles cases". 

The latest Health Protection Report from x states: "All the cases presented to frontline healthcare services with a rash illness and in some instances patients were not isolated immediately, exposing healthcare workers and other vulnerable patients. 

"Health protection teams were reminded that healthcare workers who have had a significant exposure to a measles case should be able to demonstrate satisfactory evidence of protection against measles to continue working, as per national guidance."

Ages of the UK cases ranged from less than one year to 45 years. Five cases were in children under two years of age, of which three were under 13 months of age and therefore not yet eligible for immunisation. 

The majority of the cases (eight) had travelled to the Philippines to visit family and friends and at least four cases were infectious on their flight back to the UK raising the possibility of onward transmission and further cases occurring.

The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has issued a reminder for all travellers to ensure they are up to date with all vaccines (including MMR) according to the current UK schedule, as travel is a factor in international spread of the infection.