An epidemiological alert has been issued due to an expect surge in international travel, and since the diseases have effectively been eliminated from the Americas the world health bodies want it to stay that way. A joint statement from the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation read: “Travellers who have not been vaccinated against measles and rubella are at risk of contracting these diseases when visiting countries where the viruses are currently circulating.”
The World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation have both urged international travellers to get vaccinated against measles and rubella.
The alert, sent to the ministries of health of PAHO/WHO member countries, urges health authorities to include private healthcare providers in their surveillance systems and to alert healthcare workers in both the private and public sectors to the possible presence of both diseases, reminding them that suspected cases must be notified immediately to health authorities.
The alert also encourages the healthcare sector to require proof of immunity for measles and rubella as a pre-requisite for employment (for medical, administrative and security personnel). It also recommends vaccination of personnel in the tourism and transportation sectors.