Previously Eradicated Measles (Rubeola) is Making a Comeback in the US

Previously Eradicated Measles (Rubeola) is Making a Comeback in the US

In a recent report from the CDC, the organization detailed that 120 people from 15 different states were reported to have measles from January 1st to December 2nd, 2017. Why is this number so shocking? Only a few short years ago, health experts thought they had almost completely eradicated the measles (Rubeola) virus.

Thanks to the measles vaccine, it looked as though this disease was about to meet the same fate as Polio, and to have finally found its end.

However, over the past few years, the measles has started to pop up again in the United States. In addition to the growing number in 2017, there were 86 reported cases in 2016, 188 in 2015 and 667 in 2014. Experts believe there is a very simple explanation why: parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children against this disease.

In the year 2001, there were around 0.28 million cases of measles in the United States. In 2015, that amount doubled to 0.56 million. Of the reported cases, a majority were infants and young children, most of them unvaccinated.

Further research into some of the more recent measles outbreaks found that it was a lack of vaccinations rather than a failure of the vaccine that was to blame. Measles is most likely to affect infants ages 6 to 11 months and toddlers 12 to 15 months.

While there are still cases of the measles popping up all over the country, there is still a silver lining as the numbers still remain relatively low. Thanks to overall high vaccination rates amount Americans, the disease is still relatively rare. In other parts of the world, where vaccinations are not as common, this disease still runs rampant.

Signs and symptoms of the virus include a pink or red rash that begins at the face and spreads through the rest of the body, a mild fever, swollen or tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, runny nose and inflamed or red eyes. In some rare occasions, it can lead to ear infections and brain swelling.

Parents who want to make sure that they are keeping their kids as safe as possible from this disease need to make sure their children are up-to-date on their vaccines. This is very important since nearly 70 percent of those who got the measles between 2001 and 2015 were not vaccinated. This means it is not a case of the virus mutating or of the vaccine failing to work.

Therefore, the absolute best thing you can do as a parent to keep your child protected is to keep them up-to-date on their vaccines. Visit Continuum Pediatrics for your child’s next well child appointment to make sure they have every shot they need to keep them as safe as possible from the measles and other serious diseases that today’s vaccinations protect against.