MDHHS reminds Michigan residents about importance of vaccinations following recent measles cases in the state
LANSING, Mich. – Following two recent cases of measles acquired overseas and brought into Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is urging residents to make sure their families are protected against vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Traveling abroad during the summer is a great opportunity for families and individuals to have fun and possibly even learn something new. Unfortunately, it can also increase your exposure to diseases that you may not be exposed to in the comfort of your own home. It is important to know how to keep yourself and others healthy during trips.
Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive, suggests making sure you’re up to date for all routine vaccines as well as ones that may be recommended for travel outside the United States because of higher risk for certain diseases.
“Several countries in western Europe, including France, Italy, England and Germany, are currently having measles outbreaks,” Wells said. “Immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccinating your child is one of the safest and most effective things you can do to protect them.”
Measles vaccination is recommended for all children before they start school, so most people are protected, but Wells suggests adults review their medical records and their children’s records to make sure before getting on a plane. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may recommend additional inoculations depending on the traveler’s destination. Examples include vaccines for yellow fever, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis Hepatitis A and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis.
If you discover you or a family member have not received a recommended vaccine, arrange to get vaccinated two to three weeks before you start your trip to provide optimal protection. Although the measles vaccine is usually given to children at the time of their first birthday or shortly after, infants as young as six months should get vaccinated against measles if they will be traveling outside of the U.S.
Other important guidelines and practices to follow when traveling to minimize the chance of getting sick include protecting against insects and sun exposure, as well as food and water precautions. For more information, visit CDC’s travel health website at Cdc.gov/travel
In an effort to help parents protect their children from serious vaccine-preventable diseases, MDHHS is participating in the I Vaccinate campaign. I Vaccinate provides the facts parents need to make informed decisions about vaccinations. For more information about immunizations and the I Vaccinate campaign, visit IVaccinate.org.