As the ssummer travel season begins, health officials urge all international travelers and individuals receiving international guests locally to take precautions to prevent the spread of measles.
Measles activity continues to be high in California this year. As of April 4th, 51 confirmed measles cases with onset in 2014 had been reported to California Department of Public Health, including one case from Monterey County. By comparison, in 2013, only 4 measles cases had been reported by late March. Most of the cases have been associated with international travel (to the Philippines, India, or Vietnam) or contact with international travelers. Health officials encourage all individuals who are traveling internationally or receiving international guests to take steps to protect themselves and their families:
Find out what diseases may be common in the countries you are visiting or in the countries from where you are receiving visitors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides up-to-date health information on over 200 international destinations at www.cdc.gov/travel/.
- The Philippines is currently experiencing a measles epidemic. Incidence of measles is also high in many areas of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Make sure you and your children are fully immunized before traveling internationally or receiving international visitors. Contact your medical provider if you become ill within three weeks of returning from your travels (or if you become ill within three weeks of contact with international visitors), especially if you experience a high fever, rash, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.
- Infants 6 months through 11 months of age should have 1 dose of measles vaccine. Infants who get 1 dose of measles vaccine before their first birthday should get 2 more doses of the vaccine (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose at least 28 days later).
- Children 12 months of age or older should have 2 doses separated by at least 28 days.
- Adolescents and adults who have not had measles or been vaccinated should get 2 doses separated by at least 28 days.
For more information, please contact your medical provider or visit the CDC’s website www.cdc.gov/measles.