Brazilian Measles Outbreak Earns WHO Travel Alert
MMR-II and ProQuad are FDA approved measles vaccines
Now, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, measles has quietly become an epidemic in Brazil.
From January 1st through May 23, 2018, there were 995 reported measles cases, including 2 fatalities.
Among 84 confirmed cases in Brazil, 58 involve Venezuelans (69%), as were the 2 deaths.
The Region of the Americas was declared free of measles by the WHO in September 2016. Nevertheless, measles outbreaks are being reported in various countries caused by imported cases.
The WHO says the risk of measles spreading at the national level in Brazil remains high due to the epidemiological situation and the high potential of transmission. The main challenges are vaccination coverage among immigrants and laboratory diagnostic capacity in local facilities.
Before traveling to Brazil, the WHO is recommending you obtain protection from various infectious diseases, such as measles.
Measles is transmitted from person to person primarily by the airborne route as aerosolized droplet nuclei. Infected people are usually contagious from 4 days before and until 4 days after rash onset.
“As the summer travel season launches, check your measles immunization status with a pharmacist before departure”, said Samir Balile, RPh, Pharm.D. Clinical Programs Specialist at Giant Pharmacy.
“The most effective way an individual can protect themselves from the measles is through MMRV immunization.”
In the USA, two approved measles vaccines, MMR-II and ProQuad, are available at select pharmacies.
Measles vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.