February 14, 2024

This is How Easy it is to Spread Measles ...

Recent measles cases in the US and across the globe have alarmed public health experts and highlight the importance of measles vaccination. Read the latest measles news of interest:

Measles Cases Are Popping Up in US: Are You Immune? Influenza (flu), COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are not the only viruses concerning health experts this winter. Several cases of measles—an illness that was effectively eliminated from the US more than 20 years ago—have popped up in a handful of states. “Even 1 case of measles is something that we should all sit up and pay attention to,” says Patricia A. Stinchfield, RN, MS, CPNP, president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID). “And the reason for that is, it is the most contagious and easily transmittable virus that we have.” Source: AARP

Do You Need a Measles Booster? Your Birth Year Will Reveal the Answer: The highly effective vaccine is the only way to stop this contagious virus in its tracks. While there’s no antiviral treatment for measles, the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is more than 90% effective against measles. With this spike in cases, should people consider getting a booster shot? NFID Past President Walter A. Orenstein, MD, said that the easiest way to tell if you need a booster is to consider the year you were born. Source: Inverse

Measles Should Be Long-Forgotten. Why Are Cases Rising in the US? Not surprisingly, a lot of it has to do with not getting vaccinated, says NFID spokesperson William Schaffner, MD. “There are some parents who have withheld vaccination from their children,” he says. “It’s vaccines that have eliminated these diseases. If you withhold vaccination, you will create pockets of susceptibility.” Source: MSN/Yahoo Life

How the Anti-Vaccine Movement is Downplaying the Danger of Measles: Wellness influencers and anti-vaccine activists have reacted to measles outbreaks by spreading misinformation about the disease. As outbreaks of measles spread throughout the world, anti-vaccine activists are not just urging people not to get vaccinated—they’re taking a page from a well-worn playbook, falsely downplaying the dangers of the highly contagious respiratory disease. Measles—a disease so contagious it acts as a bellwether for threats from other infectious diseases—is marked by fever, flu-like symptoms, and an itchy rash, and sometimes comes with dire complications including pneumonia, seizures, and brain damage. Source: NBC News

It’s No Surprise There’s a Global Measles Outbreak. But the Numbers Are ‘Staggering’: Measles is on the rise around the world, and even experts who saw it coming say the increase is “staggering.” The most recent global numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveal that measles cases increased worldwide by 18% to about 9 million, and deaths rose 43% to 136,000, in 2022 compared to 2021. “Measles is called the inequity virus for good reason. It is the disease that will find and attack those who are not protected,” says Katherine L. O’Brien, MD, MPH, WHO director for immunization, vaccines, and biologicals (and 2022 recipient of the NFID Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award). Source: NPR

Measles: Woman Who Fell Seriously Ill Urges Everyone to Get Vaccinated: Ellie Roscoe, now 29, spent a week in hospital at age 22 when she developed a rash and high temperature that left her delirious. As her condition deteriorated, doctors carried out further tests. “It turned out to be measles. It affected my lungs and liver as well,” she said and she now has ongoing health problems. Her mother decided against a measles vaccine when she was a child over long-debunked fears of a link to autism. Now, she says everyone should get the jab. Source: Sky News

Map: See Where Measles Cases Are Being Reported across the US: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an emergency warning on January 25, 2024, telling the public to remain vigilant after 23 cases were confirmed in several different states. The case count remains low, but reports of new infections have continued to pop up in states across the US, with some tied directly to international travelers. Source: USA Today

Measles Outbreaks: What to Know about Growing Concern: “Those of us in healthcare are definitely paying attention,” said Patricia Stinchfield, NFID President. Stinchfield, who has over 4 decades of experience in pediatric nursing and has overseen measles epidemic response teams, said the medical community should be on “high alert” as cases pop up across the country. Source: Washington Examiner

“One case of measles is considered a public health emergency no matter where it is because of how transmissible it is.”

Patricia A. Stinchfield, RN, MS, CPNP, President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)

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Measles can be serious: About 1 in 5 unvaccinated people in the US who get measles will be hospitalized. Help raise awareness about how easy it is to spread measles, how serious it can be, and how simple it is to prevent.

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