Measles outbreak across United States hits 25-year high

- The United States' 2000 declaration that measles was eradicated meant that the disease was no longer present in the country year round.

With 22 states now reporting measles cases, more patients are asking doctors at the clinic whether they are protected.

An outbreak of measles is surging across the United States - with 704 cases this year and counting.

However the rate of vaccination is lower in certain communities such as the Orthodox Jews in the NY area, where the epidemic continues, and the Russian-speaking community in Washington state, where measles was recognized as an epidemic, within the last week.

The CDC said anyone who had an MMR shot before 1989 - and likely would have only received only one dose of the vaccine - should get a booster shot as two injections are now recommended. Even placing it in the door of a fridge, which is slightly warmer than the inside, may in some cases be enough to degrade the temperature-sensitive vaccine, he added. However, individuals born between 1963 and 1989 likely only received one dose. "Currently the recommendation is anybody born 1957 or before is considered to have had the disease or been exposed to it at some point and time in the past, so they are considered to be immune", said Dr. Jay Zdunek, chief medical officer for Austin Regional Clinic.

Additionally, many who were vaccinated prior to 1968 with the earlier version of the vaccine made from an inactivated (killed) virus should be revaccinated "with at least one dose of live attenuated measles vaccine".

Three-quarters of those who caught the extremely contagious disease are children or teenagers. Another 11% had received one or more doses of measles-containing vaccine; two shots are needed to be fully vaccinated.

"The MMR vaccine is safe, and there is no harm in getting another dose", the agency says.

"The measles vaccine that was introduced at that time may not have been as effective as the current vaccine", said Cynthia Kenyon, an Epidemiologist Supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Health. Some of them triggered USA outbreaks, mostly among unvaccinated people.

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. There's no downside risk. Officials said that in addition to two outbreaks that have been linked to patients with worldwide travel, there have been 28 other outbreak-associated cases.

The report states that more than 500 of the people infected in 22 states were not vaccinated.

Symptoms of measles included fever, cough, runny nose and sore red eyes.

- In order to achieve herd immunity that protects those unable to get the measles vaccine, such as infants and people with compromised immune systems, 90% to 95% of the population needs to be vaccinated. And when it gets worse.

Remember, it was just two years ago there were 75 confirmed measles cases in Minnesota. "A second vaccine dose is given before the start of kindergarten, between ages 4 and 6 years". Schaffner says we don't want to turn back the clock.

The advice, Lamkin can agree with, as children and the elderly face the most risk against the serious and potentially deadly disease.


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