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Before travelling ensure your measles vaccination is up to date

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is advising travelers destined for many parts of the world including Europe and the Summer Olympic Games in London to ensure that their measles vaccination is up to date.

Measles has been on the rise in many regions of the world in the last few years, including in Europe. In 2011, multiple importations of measles from Europe resulted in an outbreak of almost 800 cases in Quebec. In 2010, B.C. had an outbreak of about 80 cases following three separate importations, two of which were linked to the Winter Olympic Games.

For children and adults born after 1956, two doses of measles-containing vaccine are recommended. The Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine is available at no charge for anyone who was born after 1956 and does not have a record of receiving two doses. The MMR vaccine is given to children in B.C. as part of their routine immunizations at 12 months of age and in Kindergarten. Children traveling to parts of the world where measles is common should receive these doses prior to travel.

Speak with your family doctor or public health nurse to arrange vaccination. Consult your health care provider preferably six weeks before you travel.

Measles is a very contagious infection that causes a rash all over your body. Measles is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or shares food or drinks. The measles virus can travel through the air. This means that you can get measles if you are near someone who has the virus even if that person doesn’t cough or sneeze directly on you.

Learn more:
www.healthlinkbc.ca
www.immunizebc.ca

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Media Contact:
David Weir
Provincial Health Services Authority
Media Pager: 604 871-5699

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Last Updated: January 7, 2013