When planning a summer trip abroad, it’s easy to think, “Oh, I’ll just hop over to a travel clinic, and they’ll tell me everything I need to know — and do — to keep from getting sick.”
But that’s not always the case.
A study published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that travel clinics missed giving the measles vaccine to about half of eligible travelers.
For nearly a third of the missed cases, doctors or nurses simply didn’t offer the vaccine, even though measles is a problem in many parts of the world, including Western Europe and Mexico.
“That’s very unfortunate,” says Capt. Gary Brunette, who leads the Traveler’s Health branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “A traveler can be very easily exposed to measles around the world. That risk is very real.”
With international travel, Brunette says it’s best to figure out what you need before you go to the clinic, and then discuss the items with your doctor.