Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Doctors Urging Parents To Vaccinate Kids As Measles Spreads Across Country

Doctors Urging Parents To Vaccinate Kids As Measles Spreads Across Country

Someone who gets the measles will typically begin showing symptoms that appear similar to a cold or flu, including a fever, cough, and runny nose.

Federal officials declared the contagious virus had been eliminated in the 2000; however, infections periodically occur nationwide, as the virus is still common in many other parts of the world. The number is likely to surpass the 118 reported measles cases from 15 states in 2017.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control said 107 people from 21 states have reportedly contracted the measles. Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and the District of Colombia have had cases, though none have been reported in Mississippi.

Numerous 2014 cases in the United States were associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, which experienced a large measles outbreak.

Officials urged parents to vaccinate their children. On Wednesday, two more unvaccinated people living in the same house as the unvaccinated child were reported to have contracted measles.

The CDC recommends children get two doses of the vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.

The measles vaccine - known as the MMR or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine - is very effective.

The first case was reported Monday.

The measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed, according to the CDC.

Unvaccinated infants are especially vulnerable to complications of measles, so they are best protected by herd immunity, the CDC advises.

"Patients are considered contagious from four days before the rash appears to four days after the rash appears", Rachael Lee, assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, told Health.

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