Measles, Mumps & Rubella (collectively known as MMR) are highly infectious viral conditions and can easily spread between unvaccinated people. Travel is a major factor in the spread of the viruses and outbreaks are reported worldwide. MMR is present globally, hence why it is essential that you are up to date with the MMR vaccine before travelling to any destination abroad.
Measles causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Complications can include ear infection, diarrhoea, Pneumonia, brain damage, and death.
Mumps causes fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen salivary glands. Complications can include swelling of the testicles or ovaries, deafness, inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/Meningitis) and, rarely, death.
Rubella, causes fever, sore throat, rash, headache, and red, itchy eyes. If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.
1. How do you catch it?
The measles virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People with measles are infectious from when the symptoms develop until about 4 days after the rash first appears.
Mumps is spread in the same way as colds and flu: through infected droplets of saliva that can be inhaled or picked up from surfaces and transferred into the mouth or nose.
Rubella is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected individuals. Rubella can also be transmitted by breathing in droplets that are sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks.
Getting vaccinated is the best form of prevention for MMR.
3. Vaccination options
A combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) is available to children as part of the UK childhood immunisation schedule. If you are travelling abroad, it is highly recommended that you are up to date with your MMR vaccination.
Number of doses? 2 doses administered 4 weeks apart.
When to do the course? 1st dose should be administered no less than 5 weeks before travel.
Booster doses? No requirement.
Age restrictions? Vaccine is available for anyone above the age of one.
4. At risk destinations
MMR is present globally, hence why it is essential that you are up to date with the MMR vaccine before travelling to any destination abroad.
5. Our service
For a free risk assessment and expert advice, contact us today and speak with one of our dedicated healthcare professionals.