What you need to know about the USA measles outbreak

What you need to know about the USA measles outbreak

Ronald Pratt
May 2, 2019

According to CDC, 503 of the 704 measles cases reported as of April 26 were in individuals who had not been vaccinated.

"Stopping these measles outbreaks is a priority for CDC and we are working 24/7 to protect Americans from this contagious disease", wrote the CDC in a recent statement.

At present over 390 cases of measles have been seen in New York City since last October and this has been concentrated among children in Orthodox Jewish Communities in Brooklyn that refuse to vaccinate their children.

Measles was eliminated in the USA in 2000, but "the longer these outbreaks continue, the greater the chance measles will again get a sustained foothold in the United States", the CDC warns.

Up to 10% of patients are adults who have received measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, leading officials to warn that some adults may need additional booster vaccines. The recent outbreaks have tended to arise in close-knit communities whose members are known for traveling overseas in countries where measles is much more common than in the U.S. There was a big measles outbreak in Minnesota in 2017 among Somali immigrants, and over 600 cases of measles have been confirmed in 2018 and 2019 in parts of NY that are home to large Orthodox Jewish families.

While it's unlikely New Jersey would ever see hundreds or thousands of cases at once, the state could see localized epidemics with "pockets of people with low vaccination rates getting many infections", Dr. David Cennimo, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said via text message.

Two more Jewish schools have been closed by the New York City Department of Health due to unwillingness to comply with an order to produce documents proving compliance with an order to bar unvaccinated children from the building.

There were a few other possible cases but these were in the process of being confirmed or otherwise, he said.

Measles is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. "Some of those people who are not vaccinated, it's because they can't be".

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People whom public health authorities determine are at increased risk for contracting measles or at high risk for complications during a measles outbreak, such as pregnant women or those with a compromised immune system.

In Dudley, it was 1,127 children who had not received their first MMR vaccination by the age of five, and a further 1,613 failed to have the second injection.

If you're unsure whether you've been vaccinated, or whether you need to be vaccinated, said Langley, there's no harm in getting another dose of the vaccine.

Three-quarters of those who caught the extremely contagious disease are children or teenagers.

"On the issue of travel and importation of the infection Redfield said, ".normally we don't recommend the measles vaccine to begin in infants until 12 months of age. Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States.

MARTIN: Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes for Health, thank you so much for your time this morning. According to the CDC, for every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it. It says one dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% effective at preventing measles, and two doses are about 97% effective.

The CDC recommends the vaccine be delivered in two doses.

Officials urge adults to confirm their vaccination status by consulting with their doctor. "One dose of the vaccine turned out to not be quite enough".