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US Hospitals Issue Warning Amid Rising Measles Cases; Tragic Losses Highlight Urgency of Vaccination

US Hospitals Issue Warning Amid Rising Measles Cases | Credits: Google Images

United States: The health authorities of the United States are struggling against the increasing number of measles cases across the nation. Amid the measles-linked outbreaks, the Seattle Children’s hospital has issued a warning towards the families as the number of measles cases is on the rise.  

According to the reports by komonews.com, recently, a little boy lost his life to a progressive neurological disorder termed Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. The boy, aged eight years old, got infected with the disorder after getting infected with measles, the health experts outlined.

“Within six months, he wasn’t Jaxon anymore, and Jaxon didn’t know he was Jaxon. He couldn’t talk, he lost all his motor skills, and it took four months to get a diagnosis,” Oscar Abalahin, a parent of demised child, said.

Paula, the second parent, stated, “He was always joyful. Even through his sickness, he was always happy and smiling.”

Following the unfortunate death of the little one, the parents have appealed to the general public to get the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine – as it is the only way to attain protection against the disease. While elaborating their case, they mentioned that the infection spread all over Jaxon’s body (demised boy) even before he could reach the age to get the shot.

Oscar was quoted saying, “We want to make sure they’re aware and make an informed decision and talk to their pediatrician on the importance of it.”

Measles and its spread in the US

The highly contagious malady has once again seized attention, with the CDC documenting 113 instances within the United States thus far this annum, experiencing a sharp escalation in mid-March. Of these cases, a notable nine have been identified in Washington state, as per the provided statistics.

“The prevailing notion posits that a substantial number of administrations of measles immunization were either foregone or postponed during the pandemic and now we bear witness to the aftermath,” elucidated Dr Danielle Zerr, the Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Consequently, one can envision scenarios within educational environments or other settings teeming with unvaccinated children, facilitating a rapid dissemination of the virus, thereby impacting a substantial populace.”

Generally, the initial dosage of the measles vaccine is administered to children aged between 12 and 15 months, followed by a subsequent dose between the ages of 4 and 6 years. The CDC has estimated that approximately 91.4 percent of children in Washington state received vaccination during the 2022-2023 academic year. Hawaii reported the lowest vaccination rate during the same period, standing at 83.6 percent.

Manifestations of the ailment encompass a spectrum ranging from coughing, ocular inflammation, fever, rhinorrhea, and a transient rash to instances of encephalitis or fatality in exceedingly rare scenarios.

Health authorities emphasize that individuals infected with the virus are contagious for a span of four days preceding and succeeding the manifestation of symptoms. Transmission of the virus occurs through airborne particles emitted during conversation, coughing, or sneezing by an infected individual, as well as through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Visual Representation for rashes caused due to Measles | Credits: Adobe Stock

In a published discourse, Seattle Children’s Hospital underscored that the majority of measles cases recorded thus far this year have afflicted unvaccinated children aged one year and above, with a prevalent link to international travel.

Hospital authorities advocate for immunization, citing the CDC’s affirmation of a 97 percent efficacy rate in preventing infection.

While compulsory for attendance in Washington schools, exemptions are permissible on religious or medical grounds, as delineated by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Abalahins affirmed their commitment to continue fundraising endeavors aimed at advancing measles research in pursuit of a cure.

“We are steadfast in our resolve to perpetuate his legacy,” affirmed Carlos.

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