What is Measles?
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness. Each year, an estimated 10 million people around the world get measles. Measles is caused by a very contagious virus and is a disease that spreads between people via breathing, coughing or sneezing. Signs and symptoms of measles can include high fever, rashes, coughs, red eyes and a runny nose. People with measles can spread it 4 days before and 4 days after a rash appears. Measles can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia.
Most measles outbreaks within the United States are the result from international travel, when the disease is brought into the US by unvaccinated travellers who have been infected in other countries. Travellers are at risk of measles when heading to areas where measles is spreading and have not been vaccinated against the disease.
Measles Outbreak News
Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, but outbreaks of Measles are currently occurring in countries across the world. When a country experiences an outbreak this means that the number of reported measles cases is higher than normal.
Outbreaks are happening around the world, in countries within Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Africa. This includes many popular tourist destinations, including Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines, and more.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a Global Travel Notice, warning travellers to be aware when travelling to countries where Measles is prevalent. The warning has been set at a Level 1 (Watch) for these outbreaks. Level 1 means it is still safe to travel to countries experiencing outbreaks, but encourages travellers to reminder to follow precautions, including being up to date on all recommended vaccines.
Both the Public Health England (PHE) and the CDC is advising travellers to ensure they are up to date with their Measles vaccinations before travelling.
Travellers should ensure they are appropriately vaccinated before travel. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is readily available. Travellers should be fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks before you departure. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine protects against all 3 diseases. Two doses of MMR vaccine (recommended) provide 97% protection against measles, whereas one dose provides 93% protection. In the US, the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine is also available for children between the ages of 1 and 12 years.
In summary: If you have received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine, at least 2 weeks before travel, you have sufficient protection against the disease.