Published: Wed, May 01, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Measles outbreak hits 25-year high with 704 cases reported so far

Measles outbreak hits 25-year high with 704 cases reported so far

Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States. The disease has spread quickly among unvaccinated children.

According to the CDC, one dose of MMR is 93% effective against measles. That's just the confirmed cases, mind you, so the real number is likely significantly higher.

The second dose, however, is not a booster per se. "Immunity [resulting from the measles vaccine] isn't certain during that period of time", Dr. Wexler says.

A vocal fringe of US parents refuse to vaccinate their children believing, contrary to scientific evidence, that ingredients in them can cause autism.

Health officials are now urging any unvaccinated residents to get the MMR vaccine. The World Health Organization declared "vaccine hesitancy" as a public health threat. In addition, we have shifted to single-dose bottles from multidose ones that might have been left out between shots, Schaffner said. "These groups should still receive two doses of the vaccine if there is no evidence of immunity or previously receiving the vaccine".

It's an encouraging sign, said central zone health protection manager Carla-Leah Hmidan - it means people are paying attention and taking a safety-first approach to public health. "I don't think the religious exemption in this case with measles trumps the public health concern".

According to the CDC, even if you've received both doses of the shot, 3/100 people exposed to measles will still get the illness. Unlike the flu vaccine, which sometimes runs out during peak season, there's no shortage of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) availability.

"Because of them, my little boy had to get measles and suffer". This is because early vaccines used an inactived, rather than a live, virus. In 1971, the measles vaccine was combined with the mumps and rubella vaccines to form the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. "It's possible you received a version of the measles vaccine called the "killed" version that's no longer in use, and that you didn't develop an effective immune response to measles", Piltch-Loeb says.

"Back then, the entire profession was not as nuanced about giving vaccines", he said.

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The report states that more than 500 of the people infected in 22 states were not vaccinated. Individual states have immunization registries, but those didn't come along until later. The CDC recommends those adults get two vaccinations.

But many adults will be out of luck.

Of the 704 U.S. patients, 503 (71%) weren't vaccinated, 76 (11%) had at least one dose of measles-containing vaccine, and the vaccination status of 125 (18%) is unknown.

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But what if you don't have written documentation of the right vaccine? Two doses prevent measles after exposure by 97 percent. The CDC typically advises that the first dose of the vaccine be administered at 12 months, making young infants especially susceptible.

Most of these outbreaks have occurred in small, insular communities with low vaccination rates, often owing to high levels of vaccine hesitancy. "Unfortunately, this is kind of the new reality that we're dealing with".

In keeping with this theme, On 29 April 2019, in response to a tweet claiming "The GOP brought Measles back", former GOP congressman and radio personality Joe Walsh tweeted: "If you truly wanted to keep bad diseases from overtaking our population, you'd secure the border and get a handle on illegal immigration".

"The juice ain't worth the squeeze", he said. To prevent a measles outbreak, 95 per cent or more of the population should be vaccinated.

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