Traveling abroad comes with numerous health concerns for travelers, many of which are easily avoided with simple vaccinations. Measles is one of those diseases, and it turns out many travelers are making the decision to forgo receiving this vaccination before leaving the country. The measles vaccine is typically issued in a set of three vaccinations including the mumps and rubella vaccinations. It’s referred to as MMR. Measles is highly contagious, and it’s an illness that is dangerous to those who suffer.
Measles begins like any other illness with a fever and even a cough, but it later develops into something much more serious. This can include pneumonia. It’s also accompanied by a rash that spreads all over the body following the onset of a fever, and it puts everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated or cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons at risk.
Measles Vaccine and Eradication
It’s been many years since measles was a big problem in the United States, and that’s due in large part to vaccinations. It causes herd immunity which allows people to live free of the illness thanks to their vaccinations. It’s also safer for those who cannot be vaccinated due to other health conditions when everyone else is vaccinated and not bringing such a dangerous disease back into the country when they return.
As more and more Americans are turning against vaccinations in favor of natural remedies or because they feel they no longer need them since disease has been all but eradicated, it’s putting more people at risk. As more people forgo the measles vaccine, more people become susceptible to this disease, and it spreads quickly. With more than half of the international travelers heading out of the country to travel making the decision to forgo this vaccination, it’s putting everyone at risk. Herd immunity will quickly die out, the disease will spread, and lives are put at risk.
Measles is Highly Contagious
It’s so easy to catch measles without a vaccination you don’t even need to be exposed to someone who has it. You can catch it merely entering the same room or location as a person who has measles as many as two hours after their departure. This disease is so dangerous and so easily spread it is putting Americans at a greater risk.
Many people consider the measles vaccine unimportant. They’re not worried about catching it since it’s not typically deadly when it’s properly treated. However, it’s not those people that need to worry. It’s babies, infants, and anyone who lives with a compromised immune system who has to worry when other Americans bring measles into the country after forgoing their mandatory two-shot vaccination prior to leaving. Not worried about their own health, they forget that many other people are one cold away from serious illness thanks to an autoimmune disease that disallows their immune system from fighting even the simplest infection.
Health officials in the United States are now urging travelers who can receive the vaccination to do so prior to leaving the country to protect those who cannot receive it. The reason being the risks associated with the MMR vaccination are far less prominent than the risks associated with catching the measles and spreading it. It spreads so quickly a major outbreak can occur long before anyone is even aware they’ve brought the disease into the country after a trip. It leaves everyone who is on a plane with the carrier, anyone in the airport with the carrier, and anyone in any room the carrier has been in over the course of the past few hours with an increased risk of catching measles.
Learn more about the MMR Vaccine.