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Going for the gold? Get travel vaccinations first

From the Kent County Health Department

In just a few weeks, thousands of people will descend on London for the Olympic Summer Games. Before you travel, be sure you are up-to-date on vaccinations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning anyone traveling to the London Olympics to be aware of an increased risk of measles infection, and recommends immunizations before you travel. “More than 30,000 cases of the measles were reported in Europe last year, with more than one thousand cases in England and Wales,” said Cathy Raevsky,

Administrative Health Officer for the Kent County Health Department. “We need to be vigilant and make sure travelers are not increasing the risk of measles spreading in the U.S.”

Before traveling abroad, make sure you are vaccinated against measles:
Infants 6–11 months of age: 1 dose
Children 12 months of age or older: 2 doses (separated by 28 days)
Adolescents and adults who have not had measles or been vaccinated: 2 doses (separated by 28 days)

Symptoms of measles begin about 7 to 14 days after you are exposed to the infection, and include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and sore throat. Measles causes a red or reddish-brown rash, generally starting on the face, moving downward to the neck, arms, trunk, and legs. In some cases, measles can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, and can even be deadly.

The Kent County Health Department offers foreign travel vaccines that follow CDC recommendations. Most vaccines should be received one to two months in advance, or as soon as you are aware of your destination. Our Fuller Clinic provides immunizations by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (616) 632-7200.

Many insurance companies do not cover travel vaccines, and some travel vaccines are expensive. KCHD accepts cash, check, Discover, MasterCard or Visa. For information about vaccines, vaccine administration fees, and consultation fees, go to www.accesskent.com/Health/HealthDepartment  or call 616.632.7200 for more information.

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