Over this last year, we have seen more stories popping up about the Measles. Which is interesting because, in the year 2000, the United States was able to declare that the Measles had been eliminated. However, in these last six months, we have seen 971 cases. A number that has only been surpassed in recent history in 1992. Here is what you need to know about these recent outbreaks
- Over 26 states have reported a Measles breakout
- These states include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.
- They tend to be centered in small communities
- Most of the reported breakouts will include a small number of people affected. But the most significant reported amounts are in an Orthodox Jewish Community in New York City, specifically in Rockland County. This group has been vaccine skeptic, and the measles virus has swept through their community. The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, declared a public health emergency on April 9th and said that anyone who has not been vaccinated in specific zip codes must get the vaccine. If they refused, they would be fined $1,000.
- You can be infected and not even know it
- Measles is a very aggressive virus. A person can have it up to four days before they ever show symptoms, and they can easily infect another person during that time. If a person who has contracted the measles were to walk into a room, cough and then leave. Hours later, an unvaccinated person could get the virus from the droplets in the air from the infected person. No other virus can do that.
- Travelers are bringing the disease home to the US
- Many of the outbreaks that stemmed from people that have traveled to countries where measles still is a significant problem. Outbreaks in California have originated from strains of measles found in Vietnam or Thailand. New York’s epidemic seems to come from Jerusalem. If you are traveling to another country this summer, the CDC recommends that you are up on your vaccines so that you do not contract this aggressive virus.