Indonesia reports 6,300 measles cases in 2013, CDC issues travel notice
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported more than 6,300 confirmed measles cases in Indonesia during 2013, from Jan.1 to Nov. 11, prompting the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for Americans going to the Indonesian archipelago.
The federal health agency notes that in the United States, most measles cases result from international travel. In fact, this past August a US traveler returned from Indonesia with measles and spread the disease in a Texas community. In October, five Australians were diagnosed with measles after returning from Bali.
The CDC advises travelers to get vaccinated against measles. Also handwashing and general good hygiene can help protect yourself against measles.
Measles outbreaks can result when returning travelers spread the disease to people who have not been vaccinated or have not had measles as a child. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected when he or she travels internationally.
Measles (rubeola) is classified as a member of the genus Morbillivirus in the family Paramyxoviridae. Measles is a highly contagious rash illness that is transmitted from person to person by direct contact with respiratory droplets or airborne spread. After exposure, up to 90% of susceptible persons develop measles.
The average incubation period for measles is 10 to 12 days from exposure to prodrome and 14 days from exposure to rash (range: 7–21 days). Persons with measles are infectious 4 days before through 4 days after rash onset.
In the United States, from 1987 to 2000, the most commonly reported complications associated with measles infection were pneumonia (6%), otitis media (7%), and diarrhea (8%) (8). For every 1,000 reported measles cases in the United States, approximately one case of encephalitis and two to three deaths resulted. The risk for death from measles or its complications is greater for infants, young children, and adults than for older children and adolescents.
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