Global Measles Outbreak Highlights the Need to be Protected Against Contagious Diseases
As more UAE residents travel overseas for the summer period, experts at one of Abu Dhabi’s leading hospitals are reminding holidaymakers to ensure their vaccinations are up to date before any long journeys.
Seeking proper health advice and making sure that family members have taken the correct medication are important steps before any holiday, particularly for vaccine-preventable travel-related diseases such as hepatitis, typhoid and yellow fever.
In addition, the recent global rise in the number of measles cases has prompted experts to urge patients to ensure that all their immunizations are up to date.
Dr. Fernanda Bonilla, Consultant Physician and Infectious Diseases specialist from the Medical Subspecialties Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, explained: “Recent cases of measles outbreaks around the world have highlighted the need to check your vaccination records and bring them up to date if necessary. A number of popular travel destinations in Europe, America and Asia are experiencing sustained rises in the number of measles cases, so travelers need to be aware.”
The World Health Organization recently reported that cases of measles had risen by 300 percent globally in the first three months of 2019. Measles is a viral infection that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Symptoms include high fevers, runny nose, cough, red eyes, tiny spots on the mouth and a skin rash. Measles can be especially severe in infants and in people who have a weakened immune system.
Dr. Bonilla said: “We’re advising people to ensure they are fully vaccinated ahead of their travels. Adolescents and adults who have not had measles or have not been vaccinated should get two doses, which are almost completely effective at preventing measles. Your immunity can be established by a simple blood test to determine if you are protected or not.”
In addition, the hospital is ready to check patients who feel unwell or are concerned after any foreign travel.
“After returning from an international trip, be alert to any health issues for the following three weeks. If one person has measles, most of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. An infected person can spread measles to others four days before the rash even develops,” she concluded.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Travel Clinic also works with people visiting more exotic locations, employing a preventative approach to check for any health trends, risks, epidemics or other seasonal ailments, and offering immunizations and adequate supplies of any required prescription medications.
Patients who wish to book an appointment to speak to a Travel Clinic physician at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi about vaccinations and travel advice can visit: https://www.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae/en/patients-and-visitors/forms-and-documents/pages/request-an-appointment.aspx.