Vaccinations Before Overseas Travels

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

New research shows that more Americans are putting themselves and others at risk of highly contagious diseases by not getting the proper vaccinations before traveling overseas.

"Once you get the two shots, that's a lifetime immunity."

Frequent traveler, Ben Pratt, is going to India in January and is getting his shots now to make sure he doesn't get sick overseas.

"I know friends that have been sick overseas, and I don't want that for me or my companions."

A new study finds many Americans are traveling overseas without being fully vaccinated for the measles, mumps, and rubella. Researchers examined nearly 41,000 international US fliers and found 16% needed the MMR vaccine, but only about half chose to receive it. Health experts say most measles outbreaks in the US are caused by un-vaccinated people who are infected overseas.

Rayann Aziz, Executive Director of Passport Health explains, "Most people believe that they've already had their childhood immunizations. They're just like oh yeah, I would have had that, and no further consideration."

Another study finds that a hepatitis-a outbreak in Mexico earlier this year could have been prevented if the travelers had been vaccinated.

Dr. Amy Edwards at University Hospitals Case Medical Center says, "Even if you're going Mexico, Europe, anywhere you're traveling, there are probably vaccines that you should check on."

Doctors say anyone traveling overseas should consult with health experts 2 months before leaving the country.

Exposure to contaminated food and water is the most common way Americans get infected with hepatitis-A, which can lead to fever, nausea, stomach pain, and jaundice. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases in the world and can cause pneumonia, brain swelling, and potentially death.

Sponsored by: Mercy Health System