The Measles Outbreak
In the year 2018, the CDC reported 372 known cases of measles in the United States. As of July, 2019 there have been almost 1,200 reported cases in 28 states. Experts worry that at the rate the measles outbreak is continuing in the US, there is a real danger of losing the status of having measles eliminated in the fall of this year. From the data that the CDC has gathered, almost all individuals infected by the illness never received proper immunization for measles. As immunization rates fall, measles continues to thrive.
What is measles?
Measles is an extremely contagious respiratory infection. The infection is caused by a virus: a microscopic organism that can reproduce inside the cells of a host. Although antibiotics can effectively target a bacterial infection, they are ineffective against viral infections. Thus, there is no specific treatment for measles once a person has contracted the infection. Measles can lead to severe complications and even death. The infection typically occurs in stages, and it often remains active for two or three weeks.
The measles rash gradually subsides a few days after it appears, along with any other symptoms. The rash often fades from the face first and continues downward until the rash and other symptoms have gone away.
How does measles spread?
Is Measles Common?
Measles was once very common and very deadly. Prior to immunizations, roughly three to four million people contracted the infection per year in the United States alone¹. Due to immunizations, measles has been nearly eradicated in some countries, including the United States. However, measles is still a common threat in many areas of the world. Since the virus has not been globally eliminated, there is still a risk of outbreaks in the United States. A drop in immunizations has caused measles to become more common in recent years.
What can I do to protect my child?
What does a measles vaccine do?
A measles vaccine provides immunity by introducing a weakened version of the measles virus to the body. The weakened virus is not strong enough to make a person feel sick, however, the body recognizes it as an invader and produces antibodies to the virus. Antibodies allow your body to fight off infections and prevent illness. When an immunized person encounters the measles virus again, pre-existing antibodies quickly fight off the virus. In most cases, receiving an immunization can stop infection from happening at all. If infection does occur, the developed antibodies weaken the virus faster and make symptoms less severe.
Is the measles vaccine safe?
Why does Village Pointe and Dundee Pediatrics require vaccination?
For the protection of your child and others, Village Pointe and Dundee Pediatrics believes that it is essential to provide all of our patients with proper vaccination. We prioritize the health of your child, and vaccinations are a vital step to keeping your child healthy. Vaccines are very safe, and they are an effective way of preventing many harmful diseases.
* All content found in this article was created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. Links to educational content not created by Village Pointe and Dundee Pediatrics are taken at your own risk. Village Pointe and Dundee Pediatrics is not responsible for the claims of external websites and education companies.