Measles have just reached an important milestone as they spread across the country and infect most people since 2000, when public health officials declared the virus eliminated in the US. Thanks to the anti-vaccination movement, the virus is slowed down.
The number of cases increased to 695 people infected in 22 different states, in part due to outbreaks that, according to a statement in New York and Washington, lingered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stopping these sustained outbreaks as quickly as possible will be critical according to CDC. "The longer these outbreaks continue, the greater the chance that measles will regain a permanent foothold in the United States," the CDC said in a statement.
Measles known for their skin rash can also cause pneumonia, brain swelling, and death. The vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella or MMR is safe and can ward off measles infections. But some people, such as children under one year and those who can not be vaccinated for medical reasons, depend on the rest of us being vaccinated to prevent the notoriously contagious virus from spreading.
If anyone who can be vaccinated does, the outbreaks are small to none, according to the CDC. However, if someone with measles visits a community that is not vaccinated enough, the outbreak may be metastasized. That's because a sneeze can inject the virus into the air, where it can stay up to two hours. And 90 percent of the unvaccinated people exposed to the infection will catch them.
Alex Azar, secretary of the US Department of Health & Human Services, today tried to calm the timid. "Measles vaccines are among the most extensively studied medical products we have and their safety has been firmly established over many years in some of the largest vaccine trials ever conducted," he said. "With a safe and effective vaccine that protects against measles, the suffering we see is preventable."