CDC urges travelers to protect themselves from measles this summer
In June 2023, the CDC saw five times the amount of measles cases compared to last year.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Centers for Disease Control is warning people to make sure they have received their mumps, measles, ad rubella vaccine (MMR) before traveling this summer.
Those vaccines are especially crucial for toddlers and babies because the CDC says it is detecting an uptick of kids getting measles.
In June 2023, the CDC saw five times the amount of measles cases compared to last year. The CDC says 88% of those patients contracted the virus as a result of international travel.
“We know that when little babies get exposed to or get the virus, they can have far more severe consequences than a school-aged child,” said Dr. Buddy Creech from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Dr. Creech said there’s no treatment for the highly contagious virus, but it can be prevented with the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. He said since the virus can cause serious symptoms, it’s important to be proactive.
Lucia Camarena has booked a flight from Nashville to Mexico. She said since her 1-year-old daughter is traveling with her, she is taking extra precautions.
“Passports, doctors appointments, making sure you have all of your vaccines and all of that,” Camarena said reflecting on her to-do list.
Babies typically get vaccinated for measles at their one-year check-up, but Dr. Creech said the shot can be given to babies as young as six months old. That’s the recommendation for young families who are traveling outside of the U.S.
“It’s really important for children traveling internationally, even to places like London or Western Europe, that they may qualify for vaccinations earlier than they would typically get it.”
According to the CDC, at least 95% of a community’s population needs to be vaccinated to prevent a measles outbreak.
Before taking our next trip, check your destination and the CDC’s website to find out if you are at risk of traveling to an area where recent measles outbreaks have been reported.
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