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When you’re planning your trip, one of the most important factors to consider is whether or not you’ll need a vaccine. Although some diseases are more severe when contracted abroad, thankfully most vaccines are effective even when you’re traveling.

Below are four diseases that can be particularly dangerous when contracted abroad.

Measles

Caucasian woman patient getting vaccinated against coronavirus receiving covid vaccine

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can result in serious complications, including death. The virus is highly contagious and can be spread through the air, contact with saliva or mucus, contact with infected objects, or even contact with dirty hands. If you’re visiting a foreign country where measles is highly prevalent, make sure to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Mumps

Mumps is a highly contagious viral illness that affects the salivary glands. It most commonly occurs in school-aged children, but can occasionally be brought on by adults. Most people recover without any serious complications, but mumps can occasionally lead to serious swelling of the testes (orchitis), leading to infertility. If you’re visiting a foreign country where mumps is more common, make sure to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Rubella

Rubella (German measles) is a highly contagious viral illness that can cause serious complications in pregnant women, including premature birth and miscarriage. It’s also suspected of causing disorders such as congenital heart defects and autism. If you’re pregnant, make sure to get vaccinated against rubella.

Covid-19 vaccination

Measles, Mumps, Rubella ( MMR ) Vaccine

The Measles, Mumps, and Rubella ( MMR ) vaccine is the most effective way to prevent these diseases. MMR is a three-dose vaccine, given as a series during the initial MMR vaccine campaign when children were between 12 to 15 months old, then a second dose when they’re four to six years old, and a final dose when they’re eleven to twelve years old.

It’s important to remember that even if you’ve been vaccinated, you can still catch these diseases if you’re visiting a foreign country where they’re more familiar. Check the travel health advisories of the countries you’re visiting to see if they recommend any additional vaccines.

Although some diseases are more severe when contracted abroad, thankfully most vaccines are effective even when you’re traveling.