I can’t wait for the Olympics to start! I love watching all of the Olympic coverage and think it is really perfect TV watching for the whole family. But, some of you may be lucky enough to be heading to London for the Olympic games and you need to make sure that you and your family are vaccinated.
Europe has been in the middle of a measles outbreak, with over 30,000 cases of measles being reported in Europe last year. Therefore, travelers to Europe and the Olympics are at risk for being exposed to measles.
It has been recommended that children between the ages of 6-12 months of age receive an early MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine prior to traveling to Europe. The MMR vaccine is usually given at 12-15 months of age.
It is also recommended that children 12 months of age or older receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine separated by a minimum of 28 days. The 2nd MMR dose is usually given between the ages of 4-6 years.
MMR vaccine is also recommended for adults who have not had measles.
Measles is a viral illness that is highly contagious and easily spread to unvaccinated people. About 90% of unvaccinated people will get measles if they are exposed to an infected person.
Measles is spread through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Measles virus can stay in the air for up to 2 hours so you never know when you may be exposed at an airport counter, on a plane, standing in line to get into an Olympic venue or sitting next to someone at an event. A person infected with measles may not yet have the rash but may already be contagious.
Check your immunization status and your children’s as well and make sure everyone is vaccinated and has received their MMR vaccines.
Leave healthy, have fun at the Olympics, and return healthy. Hopefully with a few medals for our Olympians as well!