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## Should I Get a Measles Booster Before Traveling to Europe?

**Introduction**

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause serious complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death. Although measles has been largely eliminated in the United States, it remains a threat in many parts of Europe. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers to Europe get a measles booster shot, regardless of their age or vaccination history.

**Why Get a Measles Booster?**

There are several reasons why you should get a measles booster before traveling to Europe:

* **Measles is highly contagious.** The measles virus is spread through respiratory droplets, such as those produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that 90% of people who are not immune and who come into contact with an infected person will get sick.
* **Measles can be serious.** Measles can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. In some cases, measles can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death.
* **Europe is a high-risk area for measles.** Measles is still common in many parts of Europe, including France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In 2018, there were over 80,000 cases of measles reported in Europe, and 72 people died from the disease.
* **The measles vaccine is safe and effective.** The measles vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself from measles. The vaccine is typically given in two doses, and it is 97% effective at preventing measles.

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**Who Should Get a Measles Booster?**

The CDC recommends that all travelers to Europe get a measles booster shot, regardless of their age or vaccination history. This includes people who have already had measles, as well as people who have been vaccinated against measles but have not had a booster shot within the past 10 years.

**When to Get a Measles Booster**

The best time to get a measles booster shot is 2-4 weeks before you travel to Europe. This will give your body enough time to develop immunity to the virus.

**Where to Get a Measles Booster**

You can get a measles booster shot at your doctor’s office, a travel clinic, or a local health department.

**What to Expect After Getting a Measles Booster**

After getting a measles booster shot, you may experience some mild side effects, such as fever, rash, or muscle aches. These side effects usually go away within a few days.

**Conclusion**

Measles is a serious disease that can be prevented by vaccination. If you are planning to travel to Europe, it is important to get a measles booster shot before you go. The vaccine is safe and effective, and it could save your life.

**Additional Resources**

* [CDC: Measles](https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html)
* [WHO: Measles](https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/measles)
* [TravelHealthPro: Measles](https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/measles)

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