Measles fears after Bieber show in Japan
Less than a month after Public Health England cautioned that measles is spreading at British music festivals, Japanese health officials have warned of a possible outbreak following a confirmed case at a Justin Bieber show near Tokyo.
Creativeman, the promoter of the 14 August Purpose world tour date at the Makuhari Messe (9,000-cap.) in Chiba, said a concertgoer with symptoms consistent with measles (“fever, rash, cough, runny nose, etc.”) attended the show – something later confirmed by the country’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
A spokesman for the ministry told AFP “it could lead to a fatal case”, although no further infections have yet been reported.
Japan abolished the combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, or German measles (MMR), in 1993 in favour of separate vaccines for each disease. It remains the only developed country to have outlawed MMR, although a now-discredited report linking the vaccine to autism triggered a decline in vaccination rates in the UK and US.
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Measles rife at UK music festivals
A British public health body has warned those not vaccinated against measles to stay away from music festivals this summer following an outbreak in England.
A total of 234 cases were confirmed between January and June, says Public Health England (PHE) – of which 36 were in people who had attended festivals in June and July – compared with 54 for the same period last year.
“Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can be very unpleasant and sometimes lead to serious complications,” says Dr Mary Ramsay, PHE’s head of immunisation. “So, if you think you might have measles, please don’t go to any of these big events.
There were 16 cases of measles at Glastonbury, one at Secret Garden Party and seven at NASS festival in Somerset
“Measles isn’t common these days because most of us are vaccinated, but young people who missed their MMR [measles, mumps and rubella] jab as children are vulnerable, especially if gathered in large numbers at an event.”
PHE is advising young adults to ensure they have received two doses of the MMR vaccine.
There were 16 cases of measles at Glastonbury (which must have added to the festival experience for those already stricken with a stomach bug), one at Secret Garden Party, seven at Somerset music/extreme sports festival NASS and two at Nozstock in Bromyard, Herefordshire, among others.