Measles, Mumps and Rubella are highly infectious diseases that are transmitted through coughing, sneezing and direct contact with respiratory secretions. All the diseases are present worldwide.
Measles symptoms include: rash, flu-like symptoms, conjunctivitis and cough. It can be a very serious disease, particularly in children, with thousands of deaths reported worldwide each year.
Mumps symptoms include: fever, headache, joint pain and swelling of the salivary glands. For most people serious complications are rare, however, mumps can lead to viral meningitis and swelling of the testicles in males and ovaries in females who have gone through puberty.
Rubella, also known as German measles, is usually a mild infection with symptoms similar to the common cold. If caught in pregnancy rubella can cause miscarriage or multiple birth defects.
Advice for Travellers
In the UK all children are offered vaccination against MMR during their childhood as part of the UK childhood vaccine programme. The UK MMR vaccination programme was introduced in 1988. Those born between 1980 and 1990 may not have received two doses of vaccine and should have a booster before travel.
The diseases are still very common in many parts of Asia, Africa, the Indian sub-continent and South America. Outbreaks also occur in many developed countries including the USA, Canada, japan and the UK. In the past month alone there have been reports of measles outbreaks in the following countries: Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Israel, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia and Somalia. (Source: NATHNAC)
All travellers should ensure they are up to date with their MMR vaccine. This is particularly important for travellers who may be around children, living or working with locals or attending mass gatherings on their trip. Two doses of the MMR vaccine gives lifetime protection against all three diseases. If travellers have not had an MMR vaccine or the diseases then they should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine 4 weeks apart. MMR is a live vaccine and needs to be given on the same day as other live vaccines such as Yellow Fever or BCG, or separated by 4 weeks.
To book an appointment for an MMR vaccine call 01273 749100 or book ONLINE.