Measles case confirmed in Alabama

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"Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease that can spread quickly, so if you or your child are not vaccinated against the disease and you were at the Tucson International Airport, there is a risk of getting measles", said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. However, the spiking measles cases across the country still have local health officials and workers anxious.

Alabama is now the 23rd state to report a case of the measles, the highly contagious virus thought to have been all but wiped out in the US since 2000. "However, once measles is in an undervaccinated community, it is hard to control the spread of disease". Officials know festivalgoers aged 15 - 25 years may have missed out on the MMR vaccine as a child.

"From 1960-1968, they might have gotten a vaccine that wasn't as effective as the vaccine that we have now", Martinez said.

If you believe you have been exposed, make sure to call your health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department to protect other patients and medical staff from possible infection. The CDC updated its guidelines, recommending two doses, in 1989.

Persons who have already been infected with measles have life-long immunity. The combined vaccine, MMR [measles, mumps and rubella] is recommended as it is scientifically proven safe and effective against the three components. Health officials say the best way to protect babies under age one is for everyone who is eligible to receive the measles vaccine.

Adults with compromised immune systems unable to get the shot should ensure that family and close contacts get two doses.

Middlesex and Ocean County residents may have been exposed to the measles recently.

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Children 1 year and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.

For people who don't know where their vaccine records are located, they can try checking with their local health department.

"There is also a vaccination called an MMR, which is for measles, mumps and rubella", he said.

In addition, the CDC considers anyone vaccinated between 1957 and 1963 to be at increased risk of contracting measles because they probably received a vaccine that contained inactivated measles virus.

Anyone born before 1957 is considered immune to measles because nearly all individuals born prior to that year likely had measles. It can be spread through "coughing, sneezing or other contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person", according to the release.

It is believed that many people could be susceptible to the potentially unsafe virus in Utah, as the state is already experiencing an outbreak of mumps.

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