Travelling with children on the mid-term break? Don’t ruin their holiday with measles!

Published:

While on holiday children may be exposed to measles, a very infectious viral infection. Measles outbreaks are currently being reported from many countries where Irish residents travel on holidays. In order to protect your children when they are travelling make sure that they are up to date with their Measles-Mumps rubella Vaccine (MMR).

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a large and evolving measles outbreak (more than 100 cases) linked to visiting an amusement park in California (see outbreak linked to an amusement park in California for more information). Additionally, during 2014 the United States reported 644 cases from 27 states.

The measles situation in Europe also causes concern. Provisional data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) indicates that more than 3,000 measles cases were reported from EU/EEA countries in 2014. This highest incidence rate was in Italy with more than 1,600 measles cases reported in the year. See more data at http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/measles/epidemiological_data/Pages/measles_past12months.aspx

For more information on the US outbreaks please see information from CDC http://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html 

Key message
In order to protect your children while on holiday make sure that they are appropriately vaccinated with MMR vaccine. One dose is recommended at 12 months of age and another dose at 4-5 years of age. This vaccine is provided free of charge to all children in Ireland. Older individuals who have not been vaccinated and never had measles (those born since 1978 are most at risk) should speak with their GP about getting the MMR vaccine.