This has been pointed out to Efe by the secretary of the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP), Francisco José Álvarez, who has sent a message of tranquility to parents who are going to undertake a vacation trip to these countries.
Although there is an epidemic outbreak in Europe, pediatricians only ask for vaccination of children between 6 and 12 months – who have not yet received the triple viral dose (measles, rubella and mumps) – in the case that they will remain in these countries for “a long time”, that the experts do not specify.
In case of doubt, however, “and as always when there is a doubt about the health of your child,” parents should consult the pediatrician about the need to administer a dose of this vaccine – the triple viral vaccine – before the end of the year.
“It is necessary to differentiate prolonged trips or of tourism”, has explained Alvarez, who has indicated that in these last ones it is not necessary to take special means, but to fulfill the calendar of vaccines of each autonomous community.
The measles vaccine is included in the triple viral vaccine – together with parotiditis and rubella – that is administered to infants for the first time at the age of 12 months, so that before this age children are not immunized against this contagious disease, whose Complications can be serious and even deadly.
Measles is an infectious-contagious disease typical of childhood age caused by a virus and the most typical sign is the appearance of Koplik spots (bright red spots centered by a white spot), high fever and very persistent cough, between others.
The disease can be complicated especially affecting the respiratory system with laryngitis, bronchitis, bronchopneumonia and even pneumonia (in 6% of cases), which is the complication associated with increased mortality.
The AEP has highlighted that in Spain the vaccination coverage is “excellent” and, therefore, the vast majority of Spanish children and adolescents are protected against diseases such as measles.
He recalled that meet the vaccination schedule of the autonomous community of residence is “the best insurance” against diseases such as measles and has recommended that it be reviewed before starting an international trip at least between 1 and 2 months before the trip.
In the case of visiting countries outside of Europe or the US, Álvarez recommends going between one and two months before the trip to the pediatrician and an International Vaccination Center, where parents can receive information about vaccines that should be administered to children.
Thus, the hepatitis A vaccine – which is not included in the Spanish vaccination calendar – is necessary to travel to all countries that are not in Western Europe, Japan and Korea, Australia and the USA, and can be placed from one year
The risk of acquiring hepatitis A is “very high” in certain areas if food or contaminated water is consumed, he warned.
To travel to these same countries, the typhoid fever vaccine is also recommended, which, in this case, can not be administered until two years of age.
He also recalled that malaria – or malaria – is frequent in many areas and, to prevent it, you have to take a series of medicines that, in some cases, can also be administered after two years.
Álvarez also referred to the yellow fever epidemic suffered by Brazil and some African countries and that can also be avoided with a vaccine from 9 months of age.
In the case of Asia, especially Japan and Southeast Asia, there is a disease called Japanese encephalitis, which also has a vaccine.
The secretary of the Vaccine Advisory Committee of the AEP has warned, however, that children under 2 should not travel to tropical countries in South America, Asia and Africa because in these places there are many communicable diseases that do not have a vaccine to avoid its contagion.