Spanish Health Inspectors Probe Cruise Ship For Measles

The Spanish Ministry of Health has contacted around 2,500 cruise passengers from 56 different countries after a woman from New Zealand was diagnosed with measles on board.

The alarm was raised when the 46-year-old woman from New Zealand was enjoying a dream trip around Europe and fell ill two days after going on a cruise from the Port of Barcelona.

The Spanish Ministry of Health has contacted all the passengers on board the Barcelona cruise after discovering that the woman has since been diagnosed with measles.

Fearing that she may have passed on the highly-infectious viral illness to the other 2,500 passengers, the authorities are hoping to avoid an epidemic.

Reports said that the 46-year-old woman first noticed a rash three days before the Barcelona cruise.

The New Zealander, who said that she had been previously vaccinated for measles, had arrived in Spain after going on a cruise from the port of Civitavecchia in western Italy.

The Italian port region has encountered a high number of measles cases recently, according to local media.

The 46-year-old woman was hospitalised in Barcelona although there have been no further updates on her current condition.

Although the mortality rate for measles is very low, the viral illness can lead to health complications such as pneumonia and breathing problems.

Local media said that the total number of measles cases in Spain so far this year is now at 219, which is a 77 percent increase for the same period last year.