The latest PAHO measles summary for the year to 18th of June 19 notes that in the previous seven weeks ‘there has been a 70% increase in the total number of confirmed cases of measles reported, with 7 countries and territories reporting additional confirmed cases: Brazil (923 cases), Canada (17 cases), Colombia (50 cases), Curaçao (1 case), Mexico (1 case), the United States (128 cases), and Venezuela (85 cases)’. So far this year, the USA (current outbreaks in California, New York, Texas and Washington) and Brazil (Bahía, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo have active outbreaks) have recorded the highest number of infections.
Advice for travellers
Measles is a highly contagious virus and can cause serious illness in people of all ages. Most cases reported in Australia are linked to overseas travel - both developing and developed countries. Travelvax Australia recommends travellers check their immunisation status for measles and other childhood diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis) and mumps 6 weeks before departure.
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.