On Monday, I read an article about a measles epidemic in Europe. At first, I thought it was a fake news story. Measles, in this day and age? Apparently, so. According to the World Health Organization, measles is (measles are?) one of the leading causes of death among young children and in 2015 over 134,000 people died due to measels! All those lives lost despite a safe vaccine. That is unfathomable to me, as I sit in an affluent U.S, neighborhood with access to good health care. Trust me, I know how fortunate I am to have easy access to doctors and medicine.
How does this relate to travel? Well, the Center for Disease Control recently issued new a travel warning for those headed to Europe. They cited 35 deaths attributed to measles over the past year. Since 2016, they’ve issued travel health notices for five European countries: Belgium, Germany, Italy, France (most recent) and the hardest hit, Romania.
If you are heading to Europe for late-summer travel, the CDC advises that you practice good hygiene (wash your hands and keep them off your face, out of your mouth, nose, eyes) and be sure your measles vaccination is current. I know there are some people that think vaccinations cause austism, but the Mayo Clinic has debunked that.
According to the chief of the CDC’s Travelers’s Health Program, “Most measles cases in the United States are the result of international travel.”
In short – be sure your vaccinations are current, get your children vaccinated, practice good hygiene and if you have access to affordable healthcare, be extremely thankful.
Ugh – I feel like this reads as preachy and that is not my intent, but if you have food to eat, a warm safe place to sleep, and access to medicine join me as we count our lucky stars.
Safe travels and thank you for stopping by!