Measles are a viral infection of the respiratory system which spreads through coughing and sneezing. It starts with a fever and is followed by cough, runny nose or pink eye.
Although it is very rare in the United States, measles is common in other regions of the world. Recent outbreaks in the U.S. include one in 2008, when it spread to 15 states. The diease can originate and spread from both the developing and developed world. According to the CDC, a number of the 2008 cases can be tracked to travelers coming from countries like Switzerland and Israel. Outbreaks occur when travelers bring the virus to the U.S. and spread the infection to unvaccinated individuals.
Mumps is a viral infection that affects the salivary glands. It is spread through close contact of an infected person. Symptoms include: fever, headache, muscle ache, tiredeness, loss of appetite, and swelling near jaw line.
Since the introduction of the mumps vaccine in 1967, cases of mumps in the U.S. have been declining. It remains endemic in other countries because only 58% (of World Health Organization member countries) use the vaccine. The MMR vaccine protects individuals from measles, mumps and rubella. Employees may travel to a country where the vaccine is rarely used, therefore, it is important to determine if your employees have been vaccinated with MMR and if not, ensure they obtain the vaccine.
Rubella is a viral infection that is spread through air or close contact of an infected person. Symptoms include fever, headache, runny nose and rash.
Prevention: MMR vaccine
Frequency: One shot delivered to children at age 12-15 months and the second shot recommended for children age 4-6. It is also recommended for any adult worker born during or after 1957 who has not had mumps or has not received the MMR vaccine.
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