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Protect Yourself: Measles & Contagious Diseases

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Measles outbreaks have been reported around the world, including several locations throughout the United States; the United Kingdom; Israel; New Zealand; and Brazil.

These occurrences remind travellers and those in the travel industry of the importance of being up-to-date on routine vaccinations.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can have serious complications. About 90 percent of non-immune individuals become infected following exposure (more).

What can travellers do to protect themselves?

  • Make sure you are fully vaccinated or otherwise protected against measles.
  • If you are unsure about your immunity and may have been exposed, or if you develop symptoms, seek medical attention. Call before visiting in person, so staff can protect themselves and other patients from this very contagious virus.
  • Keep young children and other people who are not immune to measles away from outbreak areas.

In addition, follow best practices to reduce your exposure to contagious diseases:

  • Wash your hands often. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid close contact, such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups, with people who are sick.

Those responsible for crew health may want to consider:

  • Distributing measles awareness materials.
  • Offering vaccination to non-immune staff.
  • A response plan should a case of measles be identified amongst the crew.
  • Reminding your crew and travellers of the medical advice and support services available through MedAire.

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