Measles Hot-Spots in the Americas Continues to Expand
Measles is brought back by unvaccinated travelers who get infected during a trip
Measles remains a common and serious disease in many parts of the world.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected when they travel internationally.
And protection from measles is just one Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination away!
In the USA, most of the measles cases result from international travel. Measles is brought back by unvaccinated people who get infected during a trip.
Upon returning home, they often spread measles to others.
In the USA, as of June 16, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 93 people from 19 states and the District of Columbia were reported to have measles.
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Although severe cases are rare, measles can cause swelling of the brain and even death, says the CDC.
Additionally, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported in mid-July 2018 that 2,472 cases of measles had been confirmed in 11 countries in the Americas.
The PAHO said Brazil has reported 677 measles cases in 6 states, with 65.6% percent of the cases near the Amazonas state. PAHO said the outbreak in Amazonas is expected to increase, as up to 80% of suspected cases have not yet been tested.
Almost all cases in Amazonas are genetically identical to the cases in the Venezuelan outbreak.
Venezuela has recorded 1,613 cases and 44 deaths in 2018.
When visiting a country that requires measles immunization for entry, acceptable presumptive evidence of immunity against measles includes at least one of the following:
- written documentation of adequate vaccination,
- laboratory evidence of immunity,
- laboratory confirmation of measles, or
- birth in the United States before 1957.
Before you leave on an international trip, check the CDC Travel Notices on measles.
International travelers can easily request a vaccination appointment with a pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.