CDC Modifies International Travel Guidelines Amid A Surge In Measles Cases

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With measles making a global resurgence (cases climbed by 79 percent in 2023), the CDC is publishing new warnings for individuals planning to travel overseas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, “Many international destinations are reporting increased numbers of cases of measles. The majority of measles cases imported into the United States occur in unvaccinated U.S. residents who become infected during international travel.”

According to the CDC website, Americans who plan to visit foreign countries should check with a doctor six weeks before their trip if they are unsure if they have had the measles vaccine. The agency’s travel alert warns that travelers are at danger of catching measles if they have not been completely vaccinated two weeks before traveling abroad.

All overseas travelers should be completely vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6-11 months, according to the CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel.

Another major update is that Russia and Malaysia have been added to the CDC’s list of 46 countries where measles infections are increasing significantly. Afghanistan, Armenia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates are among the other nations where health officials have reported widespread measles outbreaks. The CDC website contains a complete list of nations experiencing a large measles outbreak.

If you travel overseas and experience any of the following symptoms, the CDC recommends that you seek medical attention:

  • Rash
  • A high fever
  • Cough
  • runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes

It’s also vital to know that measles is extremely contagious, according to the CDC website. Additionally, travelers who suspect measles should notify a healthcare facility before visiting so that staff can take proper precautions to prevent spread within the facility.

A second page on the CDC website states that two doses of MMR vaccine provide 97% protection against measles, whereas one dose provides 93% protection.

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