Measles can be traced back to the 7th century, and has long been out of sight, out of mind for many of us. The standard for most over the age of 35, was the practice of the MMR vaccine to prevent this viral infection caused by the Rubella Virus. Prior to the vaccination in 1960, four millions were infected every year- 50,000 hospitalizations and 500 deaths annually.
Yet, things are changing. Measles is making the headlines across the country from Portland, Oregon to New York state. Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in New York’s Rockland County, a state of emergency was put into effect banning unvaccinated minors from public places after 153 cases of measles have been confirmed so far.
153 cases in one county. The CDC reports that as of March 21, 2019 314 cases of measles have been confirmed nationwide. This compares to the 374 total cases in all of 2018.
The number of confirmed cases are on the rise in several states. Washington state has 74 confirmed cases of measles. Texas 14. The CDC has confirmed cases in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington.
California is taking proposing new measures. The San Francisco Chronicle reported a new proposed bill in California that would require every vaccination exemption for school-age children to be approved by the state Department of Health.
What do you need to know about the measles?
- This is the new “normal” for the U.S, according to the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease Director Nancy Messonnier, MD.
- The vaccine is 97 percent effective with two doses, however, gaps in vaccination coverage have undone progress to eradicate the measles and now major outbreaks are happening worldwide.
- Measles will be a topic at the World Health Organizations 2020 World Health Assembly.
- Measles outbreak numbers are on the rise. In less than three months, the number of confirmed cases almost matches the total from 2018.
Get more information on the Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine here.
CDC Recommendations for the MMR Vaccine:
Children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults also should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination. Children may also get MMRV vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). This vaccine is only licensed for use in children who are 12 months through 12 years of age.