Insurance Blog

Posted: 06/22/20234,240 Views

Though the last thing most travelers want to think about right now is the prospect of another virus that could affect them while on a trip, there are still risks even in the “post-COVID” era. To illustrate this, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued summer travel guidance on June 21 that reminds travelers of the dangers of contracting measles, and steps they can take to reduce the risk on international trips. 

Much like the coronavirus, measles is a very contagious illness that can cause fever, cough and sniffles, and pink eye, followed by a painful rash. It can lead to more serious issues like pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death. It is transmitted when a person coughs or sneezes and another person comes into contact with inflected droplets in the air or on surfaces, where the virus can remain infectious for up to two hours.

The World Health Organization reports that large and disruptive measles outbreaks have been recorded in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific this year. Even if you aren’t traveling to one of those areas, you could come into contact with another traveler who has. 

CDC Recommendations to Reduce the Measles Risk

Please note that while the CDC is an American organization and its recommendations are aimed at American travelers going abroad, they can be effective steps to reduce your chance of a measles infection wherever you are from, and wherever you’re going.

Start by scheduling an appointment with your doctor well before you travel. Let them know where you’re going and see if you or any of your travel companions need a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The doctor may recommend other vaccines as well depending on your destination.

A single dose of MMR provides 93% protection against measles, while two doses ups the protection to 97%. Try to schedule your appointment so you get your second MMR dose at least two weeks before your trip. 

Once you return to your home country, watch for measles symptoms for a few weeks, and call your doctor immediately if you get a rash or high fever. 

Protect Yourself When Traveling Abroad

Even if you get the appropriate vaccines and you’re careful about hygiene when traveling, you can still get sick outside your home country. It only makes sense to have appropriate insurance to help you pay for necessary treatment.

If you’re traveling internationally to a destination outside the United States, get travel medical insurance. A travel medical insurance plan can allow you to receive care from the best hospitals and doctors in your destination country while shielding you from being solely responsible for the large bill. This is essential, because your domestic health insurance is unlikely to be accepted outside your home country.

Heading from your home country to the United States? If so, get visitors medical insurance. American healthcare costs are extremely high, so it’s very important to have insurance coverage if you get sick or injured. Plus, most comprehensive plans participate in PPO networks, so the healthcare provider has the option to bill the insurance company directly.

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