Safe Traveling During Ongoing Measles Outbreaks

Press Release No.: 2019-060

Safe Traveling During Ongoing Measles Outbreaks

 

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) continues to monitor measles activity and ongoing outbreaks occurring in various parts of the continental United States, including New York City and Washington State, and in the region, including  Philippines, Japan, South Korea, China, and Australia.  The measles outbreak in the Philippines has resulted in more than 28,000 cases of measles and almost 400 deaths (mainly children under 5 years of age). The measles outbreak in the Philippines has affected all 17 regions of the country:  http://outbreaknewstoday.com/philippines-measles-deaths-near-400/

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is primarily spread by person to person contact via large respiratory droplets. Symptoms are characterized by a generalized rash lasting 3 days or longer, with fever (101 F or higher) and cough, or runny nose, or red, watery eyes.

 

Stav safe when traveling

The DPHSS recommends that persons traveling to any destination:

  1. Ensure you and your family are fully vaccinated for measles (given in combination with the mumps and rubella vaccines) at least 4-6 weeks before departing.
  2. Review your shot record to ensure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccinations before traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel. Ask your doctor if anyone in your family needs vaccines. Additional information about what vaccines are needed for each country can be found at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/
  3. Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Prevent the spread of measles in our community

Vaccination is the best protections against measles. Ensure you and your family are fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. With frequent travel of residents between Guam and Washington State, it is possible that the disease may be brought here.

  MMR Vaccine Recommendations from U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
  Children All children should receive two doses:

•   Dose #1 given at 12-15 months of age, and

•   Dose #2 at 4-6 years of age or at least 28 days after dose #1.

  Students at post-high school educational institutions Students without evidence of measles immunity need two doses, with dose #2 given no earlier than 28 days after the first dose.
  Adults All persons born during or after 1957 should have documentation of at least one dose given on or after the first birthday.
International Travelers People should be protected before traveling:

•   Infants 6 – 11 months of age should receive one dose.

o Children in the U.S. routinely receive MMR vaccination at 12-15 months of age.

o Infants vaccinated before 12 months of age should be revaccinated on or after the first birthday with 2 doses, separated by at least 28 days.

·   Children 12 months of age or older should have 2 doses, separated by at least 28 days.

·   Adults born during or after 1957 without evidence of immunity against measles should have documentation of two doses, with dose #2 given no earlier than 28 da s after the first dose.

All health care providers on Guam are urged to be on alert for possible cases of measles and to promptly report suspect cases to the Immunization Program, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, at 735-7143/7148 or 735-7135. Furthermore, all health care providers are urged to review and update the immunization status of all patients they see. If vaccination is contraindicated because of illness, a follow-up appointment should be scheduled to update vaccination as soon as the illness is over.

For more information, please call the DPHSS Immunization Program at 735-7143.

LINDA UNPINGCO DENORCEY, MPH

Director

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