Nakashima said it appeared America had eliminated measles, but more than 700 cases have been reported this year. It is especially important to remember the value of vaccines as we mark National Infant Immunization Week, which reminds us that vaccines are essential to the health of our youngest and most vulnerable.
Dr. Allyn Nakashima, an epidemiologist with the Utah Dept of Health, noted the current trend for people not to avoid vaccination for their children.
According to the CDC, returning global travelers are one of the key sources of the measles virus in the USA.
Infants and toddlers typically get a first dose of the MMR vaccine at 12 months and are not fully vaccinated until age 5.
Adults born before 1957 are likely to have acquired natural immunity, however adults of that age in a high-risk group - such as with compromised immune systems - should get a vaccine. "If you're planning an global trip, the World Health Organization recommends that adults or adolescents unsure of their immune status get a dose of measles vaccine before traveling", Dr.
The vast majority of measles cases have occurred in Jewish children living in NY who have not received the measles vaccine. "These groups are at the highest risk and should receive two doses of vaccine". Measles has no known reservoirs in the United States; outbreaks occur when an infected traveler transmits the disease from overseas. "And if they are not up to date on their measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, they should contact their medical provider immediately".
Some parents are refusing to get their children immunized "for a variety of reasons", Nakashima said.
We now have the highest number of measles cases in the USA since endemic measles was eliminated in 2000.
In short, vaccines are the best way to prevent spreading the measles, and even those not vaccinated as children are able to get the shots.
The MMR vaccine is generally given to Barbadian one-year-olds. Among the 44 internationally imported measles cases over 90% were in people who are unvaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown.
"These are good parents, and majority are concerned about their children", she said, adding that many people now get erroneous information from non-scientific sources they see on social media.
It is believed that many people could be susceptible to the potentially unsafe virus in Utah, as the state is already experiencing an outbreak of mumps.
Measles is an extremely contagious illness caused by a virus that spreads through the air.
Relevant Links: CDC vaccination schedules, CDC vaccine price list, worldwide travel alerts, and report vaccine side effects. Call or use the UPMC AnywhereCare app to avoid potentially infecting other people in the doctor's office. These individuals are encouraged to ask their healthcare provider about receiving a dose of MMR.
Some parents wonder whether it is safe for children to get multiple vaccines in a day. You can find out more about the measles vaccine and other vaccines at Vaccines.gov. Those travelling overseas are particularly encouraged to assure they are immune or to get vaccinated before travel.