Traveling Americans at higher risk for vaccine preventable illnesses
Two studies, that were presented at IDWeek 2015, show many Americans who travel internationally are not vaccinated for hepatitis A and measles. Findings reveal that lacking pre-travel vaccinations can make a significant difference in outbreaks.
"Americans planning international travel should see their health care providers or visit a travel clinic four to six weeks before the trip to learn what vaccines are recommended before heading to their destinations," Emily Hyle, M.D., lead author of the measles vaccination study and Instructor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, said. "Many travelers don't realize their risk of exposure to infections and that many can be avoided with vaccination."
Experts say that the reason many Americans who travel abroad contract hepatitis A and measles is due to contaminated water and food.
"Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world and even brief exposure can lead to infection," Hyle said. "Many travelers heading to developed countries, including those in Europe, might not realize that there are outbreaks of measles occurring in those areas, and they are at risk for becoming ill."