The World Health Organization is warning people to get vaccinated before going to the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.
“The increase in international travel and the mass movement of people during events such as the World Cup increases the risk of transmission of diseases,” reads a press release on the website of the Pan-American Health Organization. “It also increases the likelihood of travelers returning to their countries with diseases such as measles, which is highly contagious and can have grave consequences on the health of unvaccinated populations.”
The organizations are urging people to make sure that they’re up to date on measles and rubella vaccinations especially, and if not, to get vaccinated 15 days before departure.
Around one million people are expected to travel for the World Cup, PAHO notes, and 28 of the 32 participating countries have reported measles cases this year.
Measles outbreaks are especially bad in Eastern Europe right now. Serbia has reported 2131 cases in 2018 so far, according to the WHO, which has statistics up to the end of April. Russia has reported 410. Italy has reported 411 cases so far this year and Venezuela has reported 904 cases.
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Canada has reported 11 cases. The Canadian government recommends making sure your measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and other routine vaccinations are up to date when travelling to Russia. They also suggest you consider Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and a number of other shots.
The FIFA World Cup is being held from June 14 to July 15 in Russia.
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