Measles outbreak passes 700 cases as vaccination gets unexpected support

Henrietta Brewer
April 30, 2019

As of April 24, there are 685 cases of measles in 22 U.S. states, the CDC reported, even as increasing reports of so-called anti-vax supporters refuse to vaccinate themselves or their children.

The national rise of measles is a bellwether of a global situation: according to the World Health Organization, measles has seen a 30 percent increase around the world since 2016.

"Immediacy of action is critical", Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a press conference on Monday. Most of the recently recorded cases have been in NY and Los Angeles, officials said on Monday.

The study, published last month in the medical journal JAMA, said that "responding to a single case of measles can be as high as $142,000".

People born before January 1, 1969 are considered to be immune because measles used to be very common, and so this older age group does not need the measles immunisations.

According to the CDC, one dose of MMR is 93% effective against measles.

Three-quarters of those who caught the extremely contagious disease are children or teenagers. It can also cause permanent hearing loss or intellectual disabilities.

There are no treatments and no cures for measles, said CDC Director Robert Redfield. No deaths have been reported.

Though New Jersey hasn't been hit almost as hard as New York City and Rockland County, New York, where hundreds have been infected, experts remain concerned if we fail to limit the disease's spread.

The Public Health Unit "has contacted, or is contacting, more than 49 people" potentially exposed to the disease at the hot pools.

This means the US would join Venezuela as the only two countries in North and South America with that status, according to a PBS report that called on the expertise of Stephen Morse, director of the infectious disease epidemiology program at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Dr. William Moss, an infectious disease epidemiologist and pediatrician at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. "You won't even know and can infect other people".

The outbreaks in NY date back to October 2018.

A sign warns people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg, Brookly, New York, on April 19, 2019.

US health officials on Monday updated the national tally. Vaccines are a safe, highly effective public health solution that can prevent this disease. "That has subsequently been totally discredited", LaPook said. As both the CDC and Piltch-Loeb explain, the absolute best way to protect yourself, and those around you, from contracting measles is to get vaccinated.

"It's important not to worry, but it's important to be preventative", Dr. Renugga Vivekanandan, an infectious disease specialist at CHI Health said.

"The suffering we are seeing today is completely avoidable", US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.

Who needs to be vaccinated?

But for people who travel internationally, two doses are recommended by the CDC.

Up to 10% of patients are adults who have received measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, leading officials to warn that some adults may need additional booster vaccines.

Anyone vaccinated between 1963 and 1989 would likely have received only one dose, with many people immunized in the earlier years receiving an inactivated version of the virus.

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