PAHO issues alert appealing to vacationers to check vaccination status for measles and rubella

Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a section of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, has been alerted by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for travelers and vacationers to check their vaccination status to make sure they are up to date for measles and rubella in order to reduce the risk of reintroducing these diseases that have already been eliminated in the Americas.


The PAHO issued epidemiological alert to Member States calls for a strengthening of international travel advisories so travelers and vacationers are protected against measles and rubella prior to their departure. This recommendation applies to both incoming travelers and for those traveling outbound of the Americas.

PAHO attributes its alert to upcoming cultural and sporting events that will be hosted by countries in the Americas.

The Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever ‘Get Checked’ campaign emphasizes the importance of individuals being up to date with their vaccinations.

CPS in collaboration with PAHO also advises personnel in the tourism and transportation sectors (e.g. hospitality, taxi, airport staff) to also be immunized against measles and rubella. Travel agencies are also called upon to guide travelers about the importance to be immunized before travel.

Travelers who are not vaccinated against measles and rubella are at risk to getting these diseases when visiting countries where these viruses are circulating.

PAHO Member States have been asked to ensure vaccination, with particular attention to women of childbearing age to prevent any infection caused by the rubella virus during pregnancy.

For the duration of the individuals trip and upon returning to their point of origin, travelers and vacationers should take notice of the following symptoms: fever, rash, cough, coryza (runny nose), or conjunctivitis (red eyes).

If the traveler believes that they have contracted measles or rubella, they should: remain in the place where they are lodging (hotel or home, etc.) and call the doctor and report his/her symptoms.

They should not travel nor go to any public places; avoid close contact with other people for seven days following onset of rash.