Measles Outbreak in U.S.: A Dangerous Return of a Once Eliminated Disease

Number of Measles Cases in Mid-March Exceeds Total for Previous Year

The United States is currently facing an outbreak of measles, a highly contagious disease that was once thought to have been eliminated from the country by 2000. By late last week, at least 64 cases had been reported nationwide, surpassing the total number of cases reported for all of last year.

Jesse Ehrenfeld, the president of the American Medical Association, expressed concern over the declining rate of vaccinations against measles in the U.S. since 2019. This decline puts more people at risk of illness, disability, and death from the disease. Ehrenfeld highlighted that approximately 250,000 kindergartners are at risk of measles infection due to lower vaccination rates in the 2022-2023 school year. This regression could potentially erase the progress made in eliminating measles as a vaccine-preventable disease.

Measles is caused by a virus that is typically located in the nose or throat and can spread easily through coughing, sneezing, or talking. Infected individuals can release infectious droplets into the air that others can breathe in, leading to transmission of the disease. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and watery eyes followed by a red rash that covers the body. Complications from measles can include dehydration, ear infections, croup and pneumonia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two doses of MMR vaccine for lifetime protection against measles.

Ehrenfeld urged parents to ensure their children are fully vaccinated against measles and encouraged healthcare providers to educate patients about vaccine safety and efficacy.

It’s important for parents to take action now to protect their children from this dangerous disease by ensuring they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

In conclusion, this outbreak highlights the importance of maintaining high vaccination rates in order to prevent further spread of this dangerous disease.

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