Measles cases approaching 20-year high — CDC

Grant Boone
April 25, 2019

Two doses of the measles vaccine are essential to protect children and the World Health Organization says 95 percent vaccine coverage is needed for "herd immunity" against measles.

Although New York and Washington State have been the main areas affected cases have been found in 22 states.

Unless an exemption is claimed, children are required to be vaccinated against or show proof of acquired immunity for almost a dozen diseases - including polio, whooping cough and measles - before they can attend school or go to child care centers.

Complications from measles include ear infections, hearing loss and diarrhea, but, in some cases, infected people can develop pneumonia, swelling of the brain and death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates its national measles count on Mondays. That beats the previous high of 667 in 2014.

"These cases are stark reminders of why New Yorkers must get vaccinated against the measles as soon as possible", New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot said.

Symptoms include a fever, a runny nose, coughing, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye tissue) and a rash, which usually appears 10 to 21 days after the exposure.

Measles are highly contagious and can be transmitted through the air by coughing or sneezing.

The health crisis led New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to declare a state of emergency earlier this month.

Below is a map of recent confirmed cases of the measles in our region.

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The operator of the Fort Payne Chick-fil-A told WAAY 31, "The Alabama Department of Public Health informed us today that a guest who reportedly visited our Chick-fil-A restaurant on Thursday, April 11 around 5:54 p.m. has been diagnosed with measles".

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

Henrietta Fore, executive director at Unicef, said: "The measles virus will always find unvaccinated children".

Washington is among 17 states that allow some type of non-medical vaccine exemption for personal or philosophical beliefs.

By 2000, when there were only 86 cases, measles was declared eliminated from the United States, meaning there was no continuous transmission of the disease for more than 12 months.

Mr Welfare said the "unfounded concerns. resulted in a reduction in the MMR uptake but we have shown that the MMR vaccine is safe and incredibly effective".

He said up to two doses of the vaccine, which also provided protection against mumps and German measles, were provided free and were available from Global Positioning System.

To get the vaccine, Hamilton says the best way is to go to your primary doctor.

It pointed out that, in Africa, vaccine-preventable diseases also impose an economic burden of US$ 13 billion every year - funding that could be used to fuel economies and drive development. Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the appearance of a rash.

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