The latest World Health Report from Healix International reveals that cases of measles continue to rise around the world. With the number of incidents growing in key countries of interest for UK exports – including Poland, Romania, Italy, France and Slovakia as well as the Philippines which is a popular region for call centre outsourced services - the medical and security expert is urging employers to conduct thorough risk assessments before sending employees overseas.
It is estimated that measles cases across Europe rose to 60,000 in 2018, double the number of cases in 2017. There was also a significant increase in cases reported in the Philippines, with a 500% increase year on year.
Dr Adrian Hyzler, Chief Medical Officer, Healix International said, “Whilst in adults measles is not generally thought of as a life-threatening illness, it is debilitating at best and could present a threat to the young and old, as well as pregnant women. It’s vital, therefore, that employers conduct thorough risk assessments before employees embark on overseas assignments, whether that’s just for a few days or longer projects.”
A growing anti-vaccine movement in Europe, fuelled by social media and anti-establishment populists, may be to blame for measles outbreaks on the continent surging to a 20-year high. In December 2018 there were reports of 457 cases by 21 countries and the highest case counts were reported in Poland, Romania, Italy, France and Slovakia.
Dr Hyzler added, “We are particularly concerned about the rate of measles outbreaks in the Philippines and recommend that firms sending employees to the region are particularly thorough in their risk assessments.”
The Philippines – a region very popular for call centre outsourcing – reported 4,302 cases of measles in January alone, an increase of 122% on the same period last year. And that followed a year-on-year increase of 500% of cases between 2017 and 2018.
A copy of the World Health Report can be downloaded at https://healix.com/february-world-health-report/