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Jun 18, 2019

How To Travel Safe During Measles Outbreak

Measles Outbreak And Travel

Number of measles cases over 1,000 in the US for the first time since its eradication
This is what some of the headlines read in the news lately:
    "Travel-Associated Measles Outbreaks On the Rise in US"
    "Number of measles cases over 1,000 in US for the first time since its eradication"
    "Spread of Measles in Europe and Implications for US Travelers"
    "American Academy of Pediatrics report urges travelers get MMR vaccine"

There are even ads on the train that say that measles are spreading:

Measles is still a common illness in different parts of the world including, but not limited to, Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. The way it is getting spread to countries where the disease has been mostly eradicated is through travel and unvaccinated individuals. In the U.S., according to the CDC, 22 states have reported cases of measles this year.

How is measles spread?
The measles virus spreads easily through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs and someone nearby inhales the infected droplets. It can also be transmitted by direct contact with fluids from the nose or mouth of an infected person.
Measles is very contagious and the virus can live for up to two hours on surfaces infected patients have touched or in the air where they may have coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected.

Initial symptoms of measles include:
  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Three to five days after the start of symptoms, a rash breaks out, beginning as flat red spots on the face, hairline, and spreading downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Smaller bumps also may appear on top of the flat red spots. The fever may increase to as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit when the rash appears.

How to keep your self and your travel companions safe from the disease:
» Get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at least 2 weeks prior to travel
» Kids are required to get this for school and most adults have received an MMR shot. If you have not or have travel plans that will take you deep into countries where measles is prevalent, you should get the shot.
» Since the virus can live for up to two hours on surfaces, it is a good idea to sanitize your hands whenever you are in public areas.

More information about measles and travel can be found CDC website

Related articles:
Another Potential Measles Exposure at Newark Liberty International Airport

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