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Alabama Health Department: Person with measles visited Fort Payne, Livingston

25 April 2019

"Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed there have been 626 individual cases of measles diagnosed across 22 states in the USA since the first of this year".

Los Angeles health officials warned this week that students and staff at UCLA and Cal State L.A. may be at risk of catching measles, an announcement that has raised questions about universities' susceptibility to disease outbreaks.

There were 667 cases in all of 2014 - the highest mark since measles' declared elimination in the U.S.in 2000 - concentrated in large part among unvaccinated Amish communities in Ohio. "In the coming weeks, 2019 confirmed case numbers will likely surpass 2014 levels".

Nationally, the United States has high measles vaccination coverage.

Measles is endemic in many countries other than the United States. The nation has now recorded the second-greatest number of cases reported since measles was declared eliminated in the USA in 2000.

Last week, the UN's World Health Agency reported that measles cases rose 300 percent worldwide through the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period previous year, surging to over 112,000 reported cases - and likely many more unreported. In addition to New York City, there are measles outbreaks in California; Rockland County, N.Y.

"Measles is easily spread in the environment, coughing and sneezing is an effective way to spread it", said Kristi Hamilton, Clinic Manager at Leon County Health Department. These clusters of infected individuals spread the highly contagious disease to others who haven't been vaccinated, including children too young for the vaccine and others who have compromised health. Worldwide, about 20 million people get measles each year (CDC).

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"The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe". In Florida, children should be immunized against measles with the combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and should receive two doses, with the first at 12 to 15 months and the second at 4 to 6 years old.

As measles spreads across the USA, a second case of measles has been reported in Florida.

The Food and Drug Administration released a statement Monday meant to convince the public the measles vaccine is safe. The most common symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body.

The CDC reminds Americans that immunizations are critical to the health of individuals and communities. "Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective". However, in 2019, instead of celebrating public health successes, we are losing ground.

"When you see a disease that is preventable with vaccination it is somewhat disheartening", said Avner, the chair of pediatrics at Maimonides Children's Hospital of Brooklyn.

Women should not get the vaccine if they are already pregnant or if they plan to get pregnant within three months after getting the vaccine.

Alabama Health Department: Person with measles visited Fort Payne, Livingston