Think Measles Before And After Traveling

By Stefanie Kloiber 



In recent years, measles has made a resurgence in the United States and throughout the world.

“Measles outbreaks continue to occur in a variety of travel destinations, including Western Europe, which increases the likelihood of coming into contact with someone with the disease, particularly while traveling,” says Keith Armitage, MD, Medical Director of University Hospitals Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine. “Getting vaccinated is the best defense to protect yourself.”

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease characterized by a high fever and rash. Nearly 10 million people get measles every year; 110,000 of whom die from the disease or its complications.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

According to the Centers For Disease Control Measles is still common in many parts of the world.  Unvaccinated travelers who get measles in other countries continue to bring the disease into the United States.

Give your child the best protection against measles with two doses of measles-mumps-rubella vaccinations.

Traveling abroad with your child?  Infants 6 to 11 months old need 1 dose of measles vaccine before traveling abroad.  Children 12 months and older should receive 2 doses before travel.  Check with your pediatrician before leaving on your trip to make sure your children are protected.

Before Travel

Before heading out of Minnesota, check to be sure you and family members have received the measles, mump, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. If you’re unsure check with your doctor. Measles is common in many areas of the world. Your doctor can also make sure you are up to date with all your vaccinations, so you can travel with ease of mind.

After Travel

The early signs and symptoms of measles can be minor and sometimes mimic other illnesses, like a cold. If you have recently traveled or have been in contact with a person who has measles, and have any of the following:  

  • Fever, with temperature over 38°C (100.4°F)
  • Cough                          
  • Runny nose
  • Sore, red eyes
  • Rash

Call your clinic and follow your doctor’s instructions. They will need to take special care, so measles doesn’t spread to others. Prevent measles and talk to your health care provider about MMR and other vaccines that are needed.

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