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Travel Alert for Europe - Measles

Did you know there is a widespread measles outbreak in Europe?  Since most people don't think there are any travel alerts associated with going to Europe, they they don't visit a travel clinic or talk to their PCP's before they go.  So, many don't know this and aren't taking any precautions.

People of all ages can contract the measles.  Children are particularly vulnerable to morbidity and mortality from the measles and many children in the US are not fully protected against it.  We need to protect travelers from getting the measles and bringing it back home.

International Tourists Import Measles

In March 2018 there were 2 international travelers who were diagnosed with  measles who exposed hundreds of people in Detroit, Newark and Memphis airports. Measles is transmitted by cough and sneezes and can remain in an area for up to 2 hours after the infected person has left.  Most of the modern outbreaks of measles in the US were traced to international travelers. 

How can you protect your patients who travel? 

  •  Make sure  all your patients (whether or not they are traveling) who were born after 1957 are immunized  or  have a history of  the disease.  Not sure, do a titer for measles IgG.
  •  People born before 1957 are considered immune as  the CDC estimates that 95-98 % were exposed as children. If you are unsure of their immune status and they are traveling to a high risk area, why not do a titer?  If they are not immune they need 1 or 2 doses of MMR

                                                    Get vaccinated and prevent measles.

Primary care providers can play an active role in protecting our patients who travel and protect our communities by preventing importation of such highly infectious, vaccine preventable infections.

 

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