The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice Monday for Indonesia after a number of countries reported measles in returning travelers.
Health officials in Australia, Canada, and Taiwan have reported several cases of measles in travelers returning from Indonesia, including the island of Bali.
Measles is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Measles virus is highly contagious and can remain so for up to 2 hours in the air or on surfaces. Symptoms of measles are rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.
Measles is found regularly in Indonesia. CDC recommends that travelers to Indonesia protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Before departure from the United States, infants (6 through 11 months of age) should have 1 dose of MMR vaccine, and adults and children over 1 year of age should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
Clinicians should keep measles in mind when treating patients with fever and rash, especially if the patient has recently traveled internationally.
What can travelers do to protect themselves?
- Get measles vaccine or make sure you have already been vaccinated.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.