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Measels Rates Increase & Vaccination Importance


For the last 20 years, the World Health Organization has worked to eradicate measles from the planet, but the virus is tenacious. Dropping vaccine rates (some in the U.S., much worse abroad) have prevented us from getting rid of measles.

While 107 U.S. cases of measles is a lot, it pales in comparison to other areas around the world. In 2017, Europe saw over 21,000 cases and 35 deaths. Measles is the most contagious human disease. Patients with measles can infect up to 18 other people while they're sick. (For comparison, patients with Ebola virus infect abut 2 other people). Measles virus droplets can hang in the air for 2 hours. If someone has active measles and coughs in a restaurant, airplane, waiting room, etc.., then anyone who walks into that room over the next 2 hours will be exposed. And if that person is not fully vaccinated, they are at high risk of being infected. Measles kills between 1-2 people out of every 1,000 cases. This contagiousness and severity are why measles vaccines are so important.

Infants should receive their first MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) at 12-15 mos of age, then a booster between 4-5 yrs. If children are travelling to high risk areas(much of the rest of the world), they can actually get a dose as young as 6 months old (although they still need their other 2 doses when they get older). If a toddler has only had their first dose of MMR, but is travelling abroad, they can have their second dose as soon as 1 month after the first.

If your child is not up to date with their measles vaccines, please call to schedule a visit. If you're travelling abroad and aren't sure about measles risk, give us a call to discuss.

Posted: 8/16/2018 9:56:50 AM by Paul Matz | with 0 comments

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