By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a number of countries in Africa are experiencing measles outbreaks and says all travelers to Africa, including infants and pre-school aged children, should be fully vaccinated against measles, according to CDC immunization schedules.

Africa measles outbreaks

In Africa, health officials in the 17 countries listed have reported measles outbreaks, meaning the number of measles cases is higher than normal: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Togo.

Destinations reporting measles outbreaks are not the only places where infection is a risk. Locations where measles is common may have many cases but not be considered to have an outbreak. Measles can also spread in airports, on public transportation, and at tourist attractions. It is critical for travelers to be protected against measles, regardless of destination.

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Measles spreads from person to person by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Signs and symptoms of measles include rash, high fever and a cough, runny nose, or red, watery eyes. People can spread measles up to 4 days before and 4 days after they have a rash. Measles can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia, and even death.

Vaccination with a measles-containing vaccine is the best way to make sure that you are protected. There are two measles-containing vaccines available in the United States: measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) for those aged 6 months and older, and measles, mumps, rubella & varicella (MMRV) vaccine for children aged 1 through 12 years. If you are 12 months of age or older you need two doses of measles vaccine to be fully protected. Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of vaccine, though this dose does not count as the first dose in the routine childhood vaccination series. You are also protected if you have laboratory confirmation of a past measles infection or if you were born before 1957.

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