Two-thirds of 94 measles cases reported to travel clinics on six continents from 2000 to 2014 occurred in the last four years, indicating that measles remains a continuing risk for travelers, according to a new report co-authored by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.
The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases and co-authored by Dr. David Hamer, professor of global health at BUSPH and of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, found that the majority of measles patients who were reported by 30 travel clinics were exposed in Asia, followed by Africa and Europe.
The study found that only one-quarter of the clinic measles patients sought a pre-travel medical consult, where measles and other routine vaccinations could be administered. Given that low percentage, “primary care practitioners should ensure that their patients are protected against measles,” the study recommends. Eighty-seven percent of the reported cases were in adults ages 18 to 45.
Dr. Hamer, the principal investigator on GeoSentinel, said the study suggests that more efforts are needed to reduce travel-associated measles, including public health messaging and more attention to “catch-up measles immunization of susceptible adults.”
To read more about the study, go to: http://www.bu.edu/sph/2015/10/28/measles-a-continuing-risk-for-travelers/