An adult patient with a recent overseas travel history is the first confirmed case of measles in Tennessee in three years, according to state health officials today. The agency did not identify the patient but said people known to have close contact have been vaccinated against the disease.
This has prompted the Tennessee Department of Health to remind those who travel abroad of the need for vaccination against measles. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
“Our mission is to protect the health of Tennesseans, wherever they are. We don’t want people to let down their guard about diseases they may encounter in other parts of the world,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Anyone who is planning foreign travel should talk with his or her health care provider about immunizations to make sure to stay healthy.”
More cases of measles are occurring in the United States so far this year than at any other time in the past 20 years. Although the disease was officially eradicated in this country in 2000, illnesses still occur when people become infected while traveling overseas and then spread the highly communicable disease.
International travelers of all ages should be up to date with their vaccinations. MMR vaccine is required to attend daycare or school in Tennessee, and immunization rates among children are very high. Adults born before 1957 are presumed to be immune because almost all had measles as children. Anyone unsure of their vaccination history should ask about getting a dose of MMR vaccine before traveling.