What is measles?
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is one of the leading causes of deaths in children worldwide. There is a vaccine that can prevent measles infection.
What is my risk?
Travellers who are not vaccinated or who are not immune are at risk. Even travelling through international airports, including those in Canada can put you at risk of exposure to measles.
How is it transmitted?
Measles is spread by airborne droplets (coughing or sneezing)
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can take 10 to 12 to appear
Include fever, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and small white spots inside the mouth. A rash then appears a few days later on the face and neck, eventually spreading to the hands and feet.
The most serious complications are severe diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, blindness and encephalitis (swelling of the brain), which may lead to death.
Women affected while pregnant are at risk for severe complications and the pregnancy may en in miscarriage or preterm delivery.
Can Measles be treated?
No specific treatment exists for measles. However, severe complications can be avoided through supportive care that ensures good nutrition and adequate fluid intake. Antibiotics can also be prescribed to treat complications should they occur. People who recover from measles are immune (protected) for the rest of their lives.
Where is Measles a concern?
Measles occur worldwide.
It is still a common disease in most parts of the world. In North, Central and South America, Measles has been eliminated; however, cases are occasionally reported and are usually brought from other parts of the world.
Source: © All Rights Reserved. Travel Health: Measles. Public Health Agency of Canada, 2014. Reproduced with permission from the Minister of Health, 2014.
Routine immunizations for common
childhood illnesses such as measles
are important to consider when traveling.