Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
Caused by a virus, it starts with fever, runny nose, cough, and red eyes. Rashes then appear and red spots start to break out.
The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. CDC recommends kids get two doses of it, starting with the first dose from 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Two doses are about 97 percent effective at preventing diseases.
Germany’s health minister is proposing hefty fines for parents of school-age kids who have not been immunized for measles amid concern that the potentially deadly disease could return to the country.
In an interview with German weekly Bild am Sonntag, minister Jens Spahn said parents and guardians who cannot prove their kids have been immunized for measles should pay up to 2,500 euros.
He proposed that children without vaccinations should be banned from entering daycare facilities to protect other children who are medically unable or too young to receive vaccinations.
In the first ten weeks of 2019, Germany had already more than 200 reported cases of measles. Switzerland recently reported two adults passed away from the disease this year, one man of about 70 whose system had been compromised and another unvaccinated man of about 30.
Experts say if over 95 percent of the population is vaccinated, the disease cannot spread and can be effectively contained. However, pockets of unvaccinated adults and children can cause flare-ups.
Europe had 82,596 cases of measles and 72 deaths last year, according to the World Health Organization. Most of the infections (52,218) were from Ukraine.
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