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Measles resurfaces in the US: 2024 outbreak sparks concerns amid low vaccination rates – Are you safe?

Visual Representation for measles virus | Credits: Adobe Stock

United States: Measles has become a matter of concern for the health authorities of the United States as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as CDC, has confirmed nine (9) measles-linked cases – since the start of 2024.

According to health experts, the majority of the cases are found in four (4) regions of the US, including Missouri, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

Cases detected in the US!

The Ohio Department of Health confirmed a measles case in late January 2024. According to the details shared by the Health Department of Ohio, Kentucky Department for Public Health, and CDC, the infection was carried by an Ohio man who visited the Northern Kentucky International Airport.

What do health experts say?

Epidemiologist Autumn Grim, who works as a director of Cape Girardeau County Public Health, underlined that the virus is highly contagious but also easily preventable, as per the reports by kfvs12.com.

Grim can be quoted saying, “We have a vaccine, and that vaccine is very effective. In fact, it’s one of the most effective vaccines that we have.”

Measles vaccine – a life saviour

MMR vaccine, a dose against measles, mumps, and rubella, is used against the infection to ensure safety. The vaccine is a two-dose jab administrated to children before the age of six. The jab could be given to adults if they have not received it previously.

The health experts have been using the vaccine since 1963, the CDC stated. It is to be noted that the vaccine was discovered after hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives to measles.

Grim emphasized that it is concerning to experience an outbreak in 2024 after the disease was eradicated in 2000. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the disease was eradicated from the United States at the turn of the century as no new cases were reported.

The health expert further emphasized that the major reason behind the return of the disease is low vaccination. While addressing, she was quoted saying, “It’s not something that we thought we would see, but again, we have lower vaccination rates that are kinda driving some of this, so we expect to see more of these cases and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” according to kfvs12.com.

Representation for MMR vaccine

Praising the MMR vaccine, the health experts have mentioned that the MMR vaccine has been a trustworthy and credible vaccine for decades. The vaccine is approximately 97 percent effective against measles – if two doses are given.

Grim further emphasized, “No one has to get measles. It is preventable.” She further asked the general public to be cautious and check the vaccination status and records of the ward(s). She highlighted that it is important to make sure that both doses of the MMR vaccine or the MMRV vaccine are administered to the child at the same time.

What are the common symptoms of the disease?

Representation for symptoms of Measles infection

After getting infected with the disease, an individual experiences signs and symptoms like runny nose, fever, cough, and red as well as watery eyes. The officials have also briefed that the outbreak is not a concern for the individuals who have taken both doses of the vaccine.

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