While Colorado has only had one confirmed case of measles this year, outbreaks of the disease are on the rise. The U.S. is experiencing the largest number of measles diagnoses since the virus was declared eliminated in 2000.
Many international destinations are also experiencing measles outbreaks. If you are traveling abroad you are at an increased risk for contracting and spreading the virus if you have not had two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine or are not immune to the disease.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is measles?
Measles is a viral respiratory infection characterized by cold-like symptoms and a rash that spreads over the entire body. The Measles virus is extremely contagious and can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children.
What you need to know
Measles can be easily prevented with vaccinations. Ensuring you are vaccinated protects not only yourself but the community, especially those who are unable to get the vaccine (i.e., infants, those with compromised immune systems and pregnant women).
What you can do
If you haven’t been vaccinated and especially if you are traveling internationally, talk with your health care provider about receiving the vaccine or testing your immunity.
Illustrator: Alissa Eckert, courtesy Centers for Disease Control