Parents, protect your child against measles before international travel


(BPT) - Do you have travel plans? As your family gets ready for summer trips and get-togethers, make sure your child is up to date with routine childhood vaccines. The World Health Organization has noted a significant increase in measles cases worldwide, including popular international tourist destinations for Americans. Travel is a great opportunity to see new places and visit family, but it can also put you and your family at risk for measles if you aren’t all vaccinated.

The good news? Staying up to date on recommended vaccinations is the best way to protect your child from measles and other diseases. Here’s what you need to know before you travel.

Measles is very contagious and can cause serious symptoms like high fever and a rash.

Measles is caused by a virus and spreads to others very easily when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The measles virus is so contagious that up to 90% of the people around an infected person can become infected if they are not vaccinated — and the virus can even stay in the air for up to 2 hours after an infected person is there.

Vaccination can help protect your child against measles and related complications.

The good news is that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and effective in protecting you and your family from measles. The MMR vaccine is part of the recommended immunization schedule for all children and adults. Vaccination with MMR is the best and safest way to prevent measles. When both doses of MMR vaccine are given (typically when the child is about 1 and 4 years old), MMR is 97% effective at preventing measles.

If you plan to travel internationally, make sure you and your loved ones are protected against measles before departure. CDC recommends:

  • Infants 6 to 11 months receive one dose of the MMR vaccine before traveling internationally.
  • If children 12 months and older are not vaccinated, CDC recommends they receive two doses 28 days apart before traveling.

Make sure you discuss your options with your child’s healthcare provider before traveling. Even one dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% effective in protecting against the illness.

Prepare your child for travel by ensuring they are up to date on their MMR vaccine, so you and your family can focus on what matters: staying healthy and safe while traveling abroad. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider and learn more about measles today.