MCC Daily Tribune

Think Measles Before You Travel

You may have heard that cases of measles are on the rise in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 259 confirmed cases in NYC and 167 in Rockland County, NY as of April 5th.

Most cases in the U.S. start when an unvaccinated person travels overseas in an area where measles is common, and unknowingly comes home with measles infection. That person is highly contagious for four days before the measles rash appears, and up to 90% of non-immune persons who come in close contact with the infection will then get measles. According to the CDC, about one in four people who get measles will be hospitalized. Rochester had a small outbreak earlier this year which has ended. For more information about measles, please see: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/.

To enroll at any college or university in New York, students must have proof of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). MCC Health Services Department is vigilant about making sure students have this proof. Persons who were born before 1957, or have proof of 2 valid MMR vaccines or a positive blood titer are considered immune (some exemptions to the vaccine requirement exist; contact MCC Health Services if you have questions). Vaccination also protects people who are not immune. The following article explains how this works: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/herd-immunity/.

If you are traveling over spring recess, here are some tips from the CDC for travelers to certain areas of the US: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html as well as for international travelers: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/measles.

Locally, MMR vaccine is available through the Monroe County Immunization Program at: https://www2.monroecounty.gov/health-nursing-immunization or through your health care provider. Health Services provides the vaccine free of charge to registered students.

Jeanne Flanagan, RN, BSN, 292-2018

Flanagan, Jeanne
Health Services
04/10/2019