The CDC Just Issued a Measles Alert for Summer Travel

Here's everything you need to know about the advisory.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week released a new health advisory regarding measles and travel this summer. The agency advised healthcare providers to make sure that patients are up-to-date on the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The CDC recommends that all US residents who are six months old or older "who will travel internationally, without evidence of immunity, receive MMR vaccine prior to departure."

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness that can infect nine out of 10 of unvaccinated close contacts. Early symptoms of the illness include a fever, cough, runny nose, and pink eye. Measles can cause pneumonia, brain inflammation, and even death. Due to a decrease in measles vaccinations administered during the pandemic, the spread of the illness has increased all over the world including in the US.

Courtesy of the CDC

"As of June 8, 2023, CDC has been notified of 16 confirmed US cases of measles across 11 jurisdictions, with 14 (88%) linked to international travel," the CDC advisory reads. "Based on current estimates, twice as many Americans are planning to travel internationally in 2023 compared with 2022. Many countries and popular travel destinations, such as London, England, have experienced measles outbreaks in recent years."

The guidance released by the CDC includes making sure you are up to date on all routine vaccines several weeks before any international travel. The MMR vaccine can be administered in one or two doses, though the two doses are more effective (97%) than the single dose (93%). You can check the Global Measles Travel Health Notice for destination-specific outbreak reports, travel health advice, and other essential health information.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.