Measles Outbreak: Should You Be Worried?

You've no doubt seen the headlines: Measles Outbreak at DisneylandAccording to the CDC, the first case was reported in December and originated at Disneyland in California.  While California has the majority of cases, the highly contagious virus has spread to people in 7 other states and even Mexico.  Although Bill Gerrish, the Director of Communications at the Connecticut Department of Public Health, tells me there haven't been any cases so far in 2015, provisional numbers show there were five measles cases in Connecticut in 2014.  Symptoms of the virus begin with a fever and then move on to a cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash according to the CDC.  As of today, the CDC doesn't know who the source of the Disneyland outbreak was. Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 because a high population of immunity. The virus, however, is still a problem in other parts of the world and outbreaks can occur when unvaccinated groups are exposed. In California, FOX News is reporting 30 babies are being quarantined while their families wait to see if their child gets sick, even though they were vaccinated.  And check out this story, where a California father is lobbying for his son's school to require immunization as a condition of attendance.  His 6 year old son is in remission from leukemia after 4 years of chemotherapy and his immune system isn't strong enough to get the measles vaccine yet.

From the CDC: The current multi-state outbreak underscores the ongoing risk of importation of measles, the need for high measles vaccine coverage, and the importance of a prompt and appropriate public health response to measles cases and outbreaks.

 Check out this helpful page from the CDC about measles, how it spreads and how to protect you and your children.

 

 

 

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