When did you get your measles vaccination? What? You don’t know??
Actually, until yesterday afternoon (when I came home and sifted through my vaccination records that I had to get for the hospital), I didn’t know either. But, as more and more people are traveling internationally, knowing your immunization status for Measles and other diseases (and being able to show the proof) can mean the difference between being healthy and being quarantined.
The CDC reports that on average, 60 cases of measles are reported annually in the US, but that in 2011, the number was far higher–222. Almost 40% of cases were from other countries, usually in people that are not immunized. With the Olympics and other international sporting events this summer, it’s going to be a big year for travel.
But, maybe you think that “I’m immunized, so I don’t care”. After talking with my colleague yesterday that specializes in travel medicine, I’ll now carry my own records anywhere I go internationally. She said that with outbreaks known to have occurred on airplanes, even if you are immunized but don’t have proof of your vaccinations with you, you may be quarantined. Yikes.
Ok–so do the same thing that I’m about to do–find your records for Measles (and any other vaccinations you may have had, including Mumps, Rubella, Rubeola (German Measles), Varicella (Chicken Pox), Meningitis, Hepatitis A and B, and Tetanus), put them in a safe place, and keep a photocopy with your passport!!