The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently announced that measles has seen a ‘dramatic resurgence’ resulting in over 90,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the first half of 2019.

So, what precautions should holidaymakers take, and if you get sick abroad, are you covered by travel insurance for treatment or care?

Fiona Macrae, from the consumer awareness initiative, gives advice on what to do if you get sick abroad.

What vaccinations or doctor’s visits will my family need before heading overseas?

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially fatal infection, especially for infants and the elderly, so it should be taken seriously.

Always schedule an appointment with your GP or primary care provider to determine what you or your family may need before you travel. Some vaccines are required to be given well in advance of your trip to give your body time to develop immunity, so it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment 8-10 weeks before you travel.

Typically, the same vaccines you would need for life in the UK are needed for a trip abroad. These include the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, as well as the seasonal influenza vaccine for children over six months old.

Will my travel insurance cover me if I get measles abroad?

Travel insurance companies will not pay out for any expenses incurred as a result of a disease if you have not taken the necessary precautions. For example, if you are travelling to a destination that has a high prevalence of a tropical disease, and you do not take the necessary steps – such as vaccines - to prevent it, then you will not be covered by travel insurance.

Always make sure that you are up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended for life in the UK, and speak to your health care provider about your travel plans.

It is also important to have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are travelling to Europe. EHIC is issued free of charge and allows any UK citizens who receives medical treatment in any other EU member state for free or at a reduced cost, if that treatment becomes necessary during their visit. However, EHIC will not cover private health care.

Prevention is always better than a cure, so speak to your care provider, get the recommended vaccines and make sure you have both the appropriate travel insurance and EHIC with you on your trip.