• Mon. Jun 3rd, 2024

Number of Measles Cases in Mid-March Exceeds Total for Previous Year


Mar 25, 2024

An outbreak of measles, a highly contagious disease that was once thought to have been eliminated from the United States by the year 2000, has resulted in at least 64 recorded cases nationwide by late last week. This number is more than the total of 58 cases reported for all of last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last week, Jesse Ehrenfeld, the president of the American Medical Association, expressed concern over the declining rate of vaccinations against measles in the U.S. since 2019. This decline puts more people at risk of illness, disability, and death from the disease.

Measles is caused by a virus that is typically located in the nose or throat and can spread easily through coughing, sneezing, or talking. Infected individuals can release infectious droplets into the air that others can breathe in, leading to transmission of the disease. Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and watery eyes, followed by a red rash that covers the body.

Complications from measles can include dehydration, ear infections, croup, and pneumonia. In the United States, individuals are usually vaccinated against measles in early childhood with two doses of the MMR vaccine, which provides lifetime protection.

Ehrenfeld highlighted the threat posed by the reduction in measles vaccinations and noted that approximately 250,000 kindergartners are at risk of measles infection due to lower vaccination rates in the 2022-2023 school year. This regression could potentially erase the progress made in eliminating measles as a vaccine-preventable disease.

By editor

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