Published: Tue, April 30, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

US measles outbreak raises questions about immunity in adults

US measles outbreak raises questions about immunity in adults

The current outbreak has been concentrated in New York City, where officials said more than 390 cases have been recorded since October, mostly among children in Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn.

And with the disease once more in the spotlight, people have questions about who should be vaccinated aside from young children. At that time, officials said that "in the coming weeks" the number of confirmed cases in 2019 were expected to surpass the prior record set in 2014 when 667 cases were reported. After being declared eliminated, no deaths were reported until 2015, when a woman in Washington was the first to die in 12 years due to complications from measles. But when an worldwide traveler gets exposed to measles overseas brings the disease into the country, growing pockets of unvaccinated communities within the USA enable the disease to spread.

"Families are being targeted with inaccurate and misleading information about vaccines", said Nancy Messonnier, head of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. As a preventative measure, teenagers and adults alike may need to revisit their own MMR vaccination record to ensure they're still protected against measles.

As for people 62 and older, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention says they should be immune. Here's what to know about measles booster shots. Most infections were associated with 13 outbreaks, the largest of which are in NY state.

Dr Messonier confirmed that not all of the 704 people who have been diagnosed with measles are unvaccinated. California passed a similar law tightening its requirements in 2015 after a measles outbreak that spread at Disneyland.

The report adds that 40 people in 2019 have brought measles back to the United States after returning from worldwide travel, with Ukraine, Israel and the Philippines being the most frequent sources. "That has subsequently been totally discredited", LaPook said. It took less than a week for that to happen, showing the pace in which the disease is spreading.

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'Some years ago, there was a debate about that issue, ' Azar said. But because the virus is so contagious, communities need to have near-perfect levels of between 93 to 95 percent of the population vaccinated to protect against the disease.

Who needs to be vaccinated?

In the past, one dose was given to kids, compared to the recommended two shots given to children today. The recommended two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is 97 percent effective in a given person in preventing measles.

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

Those people who received only one dose may be at risk of contracting measles and should talk to their doctor about getting a second MMR vaccine. "Go to your health care provider, including a pharmacy, roll up your sleeves and get a dose of MMR".

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