Local measles, rubella no more

With the declaration last week of the end of endemic rubella transmission in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the two countries are the first in the WHO SE Asian region to have eliminated both measles and rubella – well before the 2023 target set last year. The WHO statement also advised that all countries in the region now have measles and rubella vaccines in their immunisation programmes: ‘First-dose coverage of measles-containing vaccine is now 88% and the second-dose coverage 76%’. Read more

Advice for travellers

Rubella is spread by airborne droplets and can cause serious birth defects if infection occurs during early pregnancy. Rubella is the 'R' component in the triple MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, one of the routine immunisations used here which should be current prior to overseas travel. Travellers should also check their immunisation status for tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. Read more about rubella.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.