The number of measles cases in the United States reported so far this year has been the highest in the past 20 years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC received reports of 288 confirmed measles cases in the United States between January 1 and May 23, 2014.
Measles can be prevented by the combination MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. In the decade before the measles vaccination program began, an estimated 3–4 million people in the United States were infected each year, of whom 400–500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis. Widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases in the United States compared with the pre-vaccine era, and in 2012, only 55 cases of measles were reported in the United States
If you plan to travel abroad and do not have evidence of immunity to measles, it is important for you to receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before traveling (see CDC’s vaccination advice for Travelers). If you are an adult or teenager who has not had measles or has not received measles or MMR vaccine, you may require one or two doses of MMR vaccine before you leave the country. If you are not sure if you need MMR vaccine to protect yourself from measles, contact a doctor or travel health specialist. For children who travel internationally, CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend an accelerated MMR vaccine schedule, including vaccination of children 6 through 11 months of age. Check with your child’s doctor about these recommendations.
Read more about Measles and the MMR vaccines.
Contributed via Kathy Duncan, RN, Infection Prevention Manager MMHD
LAST SYNDICATED: MAY 30, 2014
This content is brought to you by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)