Health Care

Steubenville-area health officials urge measles protection

Steubenville-area health officials urge measles protection”

People considering pregnancy should definitely make sure their measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is current.

"If it keeps going, there won't even be any point in reporting individual exposures anymore because we will wind up assuming measles is all over, or endemic", said Dr. David Cennimo, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Such was the case with more than 1,000 students at two California universities last month as officials raced to contain a potential measles outbreak.

Fargo Cass Public Health immunization coordinator, Jessica Leitch, explains how quickly the virus can spread-with just one case.

Maimonides alone has treated 10 measles cases. "And it can stay in the room for up to two hours". Both the NY and Washington State outbreaks are examples of this phenomenon.

Excepting people who work in health care, most people born before 1957 don't need the vaccine because "before vaccines were available, almost everyone was infected with measles, mumps, and rubella viruses during childhood", the agency says, resulting in lifelong immunity.

"When Jenny McCarthy [TV actress and the prominent face of the anti-vaxx movement] gets on TV and says 'I'll take the measles every time, ' that tells you something important", says Offit.

"The concern is for people born between 1963 and 1968.those were the first years of the measles vaccine", Moench said.

That immunity, in the form of antibodies, can attack or, as he puts it, "stick" to the vaccine and prevent a robust response to the measles virus.

You may also be less protected if you received your vaccine between the late 60s to late 80s. In that outbreak, an estimated 12,000 people were exposed and four public schools were quarantined, the Tribune said. "Those people are considered to have about 93 percent protection". Many vaccines are available at low cost or free from public health authorities. For anyone who's unsure, the CDC says you can simply roll up your sleeve for another dose or two. Moench says your healthcare provider should have your records.

Merck said on Tuesday that USA sales of MMR and chickenpox vaccines rose around 10 percent to $343 million in the first quarter. Those who don't receive vaccinations or choose not to vaccinate their children reduce herd immunity and increase the risk of illness and death of those around them. He added that it's not the norm because the vaccine may not be as effective on babies younger than a year old than it is on everyone else.

"It shouldn't hurt, but they still should talk to their doctor", Moench said.

"Blood tests are generally accurate and easy to get", Blumberg said.

Adults born before 1957, when the vaccine was introduced, are assumed to have immunity from the disease.

The clarification comes as Alabama has its first case of measles: A 5-month old girl in Pell City is now recovering from the virus.

ME could soon prohibit parents from citing religious or personal beliefs to avoid vaccinating their children, making the US state one of a half dozen cracking down during the nations' largest measles outbreak in 25 years. As always, though, you should consult your doctor to discuss the best option for your health care needs.



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