Young woman in Aarhus diagnosed with measles

This highly contagious disease has recently been spreading across Europe

News has filtered through that a woman in her twenties was diagnosed with measles at Aarhus University hospital in the beginning of March.

The woman did not receive an MMR vaccination as a child and was likely infected with the disease whilst traveling in Asia.

Doctors in the Aarhus area have been encouraged to pay extra attention to measles symptoms in children and young adults sitting in waiting rooms to help prevent potential outbreak as the virus is highly contagious and could spread quickly.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently warned that cases of measles have been increasing across Europe.

The outbreak is particularly severe in Romania, where authorities have registered more than 3,400 cases, including 17 fatalities, since February 2016.

READ MORE: To vaccinate or not to vaccinate

Free vaccination for kids
In Denmark, vaccination against measles is covered by the MMR vaccine, which is offered to all children as part of the childhood vaccination program.

Non-immune people are at risk for becoming infected when they travel abroad and may transmit the infection to others after returning to Denmark.

Measles is an infection of the respiratory tract characterised by high fever and the eruption of small red spots. It is extremely contagious and, in the most serious cases, can be life-threatening.

Since 1987, all children in Denmark have been offered a vaccination against the disease, which has helped bring the incidence of measles in the country down to just a few cases annually.

In 2011, Statens Serum Institut registered 85 cases of measles in Denmark. The figure fell to 27 cases in 2014 and then further down to 9 in 2015 and to 3 in 2016.