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America is at risk of a measles epidemic caused by London 2012 Olympics

Published on 21/03/2012

An official warning has been issued by the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) that America is at risk of a measles epidemic caused by tourists returning home from the London 2012 Olympics.

Last year there were 8 deaths and 26,000 cases of measles across Europe, with England and Wales experiencing 1,086.

London will be visited by over 5 million people for the 2012 Olympics

In comparison the U.S had 214 cases in 2011, compared to just 50 the year before- a rise that officials blamed on ‘a record number of importations’.

In the U.S, children are typically vaccinated from the disease prior to entering school. Before the vaccination was routine, the virus killed between 3,000 and 5,000 Americans a year.

The CDC blamed the higher UK figures on the 1998 British autism scare, when parents became wary of vaccinating their children because of false claims that the jabs were linked to learning difficulties.

Now, the organisation is urging Americans who plan to visit London for the summer games to get vaccinated. Rebecca Martin, director of the CDC’s Global Immunisation Division, said: “Disease knows no borders.”

"We are concerned about Americans coming back from the Olympics this summer and unknowingly infecting others."

With experts warning that the London 2012 Olympics will be a hotbed for diseases from around the world, private medical insurance will ensure that you receive the highest level of healthcare if the NHS is put under unmanageable pressure.

A series of reports in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal have recently warned that events like the Olympics have major health impacts for the host nation and for visitors when they return to their own countries.

And with over 5 million people expected to visit the capital during the Games, it is inevitable that all parts of the NHS will be under increased pressure, including NHS Direct, drop-in clinics, A&E departments and hospital wards.

Private medical insurance ensures that scheduled operations will not be cancelled over the busy Olympic period. In addition, patients with private medical insurance will be treated in a private hospital of their choice, with a lower risk of catching superbugs. Compare health insurance quotes online now to protect your health this summer.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  HealthMedical
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