A measles outbreak in Vietnam has caused the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for travelers to the Southeast Asian country.

Image/United States Army Center of Military History
Image/United States Army Center of Military History

The World Health Organization (WHO) puts the total measles cases at 10,859 suspected cases, including 3,688 confirmed cases and 2 measles deaths, as of August 20, 2014.

The CDC recommends travelers to Vietnam protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles, particularly infants 6–11 months of age (1 dose of measles vaccine) and children 12 months of age or older (2 doses of measles vaccine).

According to the WHO, measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards. Looking for a job in health care? Check here to see what’s available

There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within 2–3 weeks. However, particularly in malnourished children and people with reduced immunity, measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhoea, ear infection and pneumonia. Measles can be prevented by immunization. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page