Measles outbreak across United States hits 25-year high


To be considered fully protected from the measles, you need two-doses of the vaccine if you are a: school aged-child; adults in a high-risk setting, including those who work in education or travel internationally; or those who work in education. Other cases that have been reported to the CDC have occurred in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.

Much of the spread so far this year has occurred in groups of people who were either not immunized or underimmunized and part of close-knit groups, the CDC reported.

There have been 202 confirmed cases of measles in the suburban county north of New York City.

Earlier this month, United Nations global health watchdog the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement reporting that measles cases have spread exponentially in 2019.

For every 1,000 children who get the disease, the CDC estimates one or two will die from it. Measles can also cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely or have a low-birth-weight baby.

America's measles outbreak shows no signs of slowing down.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 704 cases as of April 26, a 1.3 per cent increase since the most recent tally of 695 reported on Wednesday.

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"Measles is not a harmless childhood illness, but a highly contagious, potentially life-threatening disease".

People with measles could spread it to others even before they started feeling sick, so often might not know they could be exposing others. "Vaccines are safe because they are among the most studied medical products we have", Azar said. Measles remains common in some countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, and unvaccinated travelers to those countries can bring it back to the United States.

"This recommendation is meant to protect those who may have received killed measles vaccine, which was available in 1963-1967 and was not effective", according to this Q & A on measles from the CDC. "A single dose of measles vaccine protects about 95 percent of children, but after two doses, nearly 100 percent are immune", Michigan's health department said in a press release. If you've been exposed to the disease, a vaccine will begin working within 72 hours of exposure.

The record number of measles cases this year is mostly due to large outbreaks in Washington state, New York City and New York state. Sixty-six people have been hospitalized, including 24 who had pneumonia.

"The suffering we are seeing today is completely avoidable", US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Monday. Adults who received one dose and are in the high-risk categories should consider getting a booster, the CDC said. The vaccination status of another 125 people was not known, the CDC said.

Health officials are also recommend infants 6 through 11 months receive one dose of the vaccine before worldwide travel.

Since few people born in the 1960s likely have their vaccination records handy, many may be uncertain as to whether they got the ineffective vaccine or were later vaccinated with the newer version.