CT reports 2nd measles case in New Haven County

Regaining the public trust in immunization

So Clark County, Washington (Vancouver) has an outbreak of dozens of cases, one of which is from across the river in Portland. In 2018, preliminary numbers indicate that there were 372 cases of measles - more than triple the 120 cases in all of 2017 - and already 79 cases in the first month of 2019 alone.

"In a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons: an increase in the number of travelers who get measles overseas and bring it into the US and/or further spread of measles in USA communities with pockets of unvaccinated people", the CDC website says.

That is why you need to get vaccinated.

With 47 cases confirmed in the Pacific Northwest, health experts say the solution to stopping the spread is very simple: the vaccine works and if you're not sure if you've had it, a blood test can determine if you're immune. One dose is about 93% effective at preventing measles if you come in contact with the virus.

"Only about 3 percent of the time do those vaccines fail".

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Both vaccines are typically given in two doses to young children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not only are people with measles infectious for four days before they break out with the rash, the virus can live in the air for up to two hours after an infectious person coughs or sneezes. "And measles is one of those that we have made very, very uncommon and we'd like to keep it that way". Then, families travel to other countries where the virus is more common, and since they are unprotected, they bring the virus back to the U.S. This is when outbreaks occur.

"That is what we are seeing now", Maldonado said. "What I see as a physician is that you would be neglecting the people you love the most".

"Basically, you treat the symptoms", he said.

Maldonado said Vitamin A can help recover when the illness strikes. Hence, immunization remains one of the most important and cost-effective public health interventions to reduce child mortality and morbidity. Before the vaccine's introduction in 1963, there were four million measles cases in the USA every year, with 48,000 hospitalizations and 500 deaths.

"Immunization, in general, has been so effective it has been counter-effective to our jobs", Lesinger said. According to Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo, "only 50% to 60% of children are getting their scheduled vaccines a year after the scare which resulted into outbreaks of preventable diseases". "If these parents saw the disease, they wouldn't hesitate".

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