The number of measles cases in the US has reached the second highest level in 25 years – and it is not until April.
As the disease spreads to new conditions and the number of cases is expected to increase, you should know the following about the infection, recent outbreaks, and how to protect yourself.
What is measles?
Measles is "one of the most contagious of all known infections," said Johns Hopkins, an infectious disease expert. Aaron Milstone and dr. Lisa Maragakis. The disease is caused by a virus that spreads through the air.
"Nine out of ten unimmunized children who have contact with an infected person contract the virus," the doctors report. "The virus can stay in the air for about two hours after a person with measles leaves the room."
Measles can cause fever, runny nose and small red bumps throughout the body. In the worst case, the disease can weaken the immune system, which can lead to complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis and possibly even death.
There are no prescription medicines for measles. But two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, are about 97% effective in preventing measles, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (97659002).
So far, 555 measles cases have been reported in 201
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington State have reported measles cases ,
Measles outbreaks, defined as three or more cases in one The area is currently in New York, Rockland County, New York City, Washington's Clark County, New Jersey's Ocean County, Michigan's Oakland County and several counties in California.
What causes the outbreaks?
The majority of rec-releases were associated with travelers who brought measles from countries with major measles outbreaks, including Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines. Measles cases in recent years have also come from common destinations such as England, France, Germany and India.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine are currently widespread outbreaks.
The outbreak of Madagascar, the largest in the country's history, has killed more than 1,200 people, most of them children. The Associated Press reported recently.
Should I get a booster vaccine?
The majority of people who suffer from measles are not vaccinated. A person who has received two doses of the MMR vaccine is considered immunized and, according to the CDC, never receives a booster shot. However, the Agency recommends those who are not sure what immunity they have or who can not find vaccination protocols to consider re-vaccination without risk.
How Does the Anti-Vaccine Movement Affect It?
In the US, it is becoming more common for the measles vaccine to be rejected because of religious beliefs and personal preferences for themselves and their children. Much of the anti-vaccine movement was fueled by unfounded fears of side effects, including the conspiracy theory that the MMR vaccine was linked to autism. This belief was largely evoked by an exposed study from 1998 based on only 12 patients and performed by a physician who found incorrect data. Several long-term studies have shown no association between measles vaccine and autism.
However, there are also parts of the population that can not receive the vaccine for medical reasons. The vaccine is not normally given to infants less than 1 year old. This is partly because he is not considered effective at a young age. People with immune system deficiencies also generally do not receive vaccines, which makes them more susceptible to infection when exposed to the disease.
Because of this, doctors talk about the importance of vaccination, not just to protect themselves, but also to strengthen the "herd immunity" defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as immunity benefits individuals, "because they live in a community where a critical number of people are vaccinated. "
Which states have introduced laws to fight the spread of the disease?"  295 Seventeen states allow both religious and philosophical immunization exceptions in schools, according to the National Legislature Conference.Many other states allow religious, but no philosophical, exceptions – California, Mississippi, and West Virginia – Do Not Offer Non-Medical Exceptions.
Legislators in Maine, Oregon, and Washington are currently considering legislation to end non-medical exceptions to immunization requirements.
New York City's Health Department has recently ordered in measles a mandatory measles vaccination order to combat a growing outbreak of the disease there.