Swiss health authorities are warning that the Euro 2008 may hurt fans regardless of whether their team wins or loses mainly because they may contact measles, which has acquired epidemic proportions in the country.
Switzerland has been in the grip of a measles epidemic for more than a year and it has not yet been brought under control, the head of the Federal Vaccinations Commission Claire-Anne Siegrist said.
AdvertisementThis means that fans risk catching the virus and taking it back to their home countries, Siegrist told Switzerland's French-language radio.
Federal Health Office spokesman Jean-Louis Zurcher added that people travelling to Switzerland should check their vaccinal status.
The landlocked Alpine state topped a list of European countries which have seen an alarming rise in measles cases in the past year, according to a European Union report issued last week.
"We're moving in the wrong direction," said Ben Duncan, a spokesman for the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, noting that the World Health Organisation aims to rid Europe of measles by 2010.
Measles is a highly contagious disease characterised by high fever and the eruption of small red spots that kills about one person for every 1,000 infections.
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