As you may have heard from the latest news headlines, the measles virus has made a major comeback into public light as an emerging healthcare crisis.
The latest headlines show that measles cases across the U.S have eclipsed over 830 of measles have been confirmed in 2019, according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics. Measles in one of the most concerning public health emergencies since more and more communities are reporting cases of the disease.
However, it is important to understand that measles are highly preventable with medical intervention. Understand the main causes of measles, know the risks, and get your children vaccinated to prevent the disease.
Measles has spread across the U.S for three main reasons
At least 23 states have reported a single case of measles while half of those reported outbreaks of multiple cases. The CDC explains that measles continues to spread across the country for three main reasons:
International travel has increased between the U.S and other countries steadily: In part, increased international travel has allowed the measles to spread from countries with higher rates of infection to the U.S.
Parents in general are not vaccinating their children at a significant enough rate: In the year 2000, measles were virtually eradicated in the United States as vaccination rates reached an all-time high. Since then, parents have steadily decreased vaccine frequency in recent years.
Spread of anti-vaxxer campaigns and vaccine myths have contributed to lower vaccine rates: Both the CDC and the World Health Organization have declared anti-vaxxing messaging on social media and public platforms as a top-10 global health threat. This is because anti-vaxxing messages can spread much faster on social media and lead misinformed parents to make dangerous healthcare decisions
For example, many anti-vaxxers spread mistruths about the link between vaccines and autism even though there has been no proven link between both vaccines nor autism.
Get your child vaccinated ASAP to prevent measles
The best, and medically-advised, way to protect your child from the measles is to get them an updated vaccination. Most primary care providers can administer the MMR vaccine for young children when they are due for a vaccination.
Basic medical guidelines suggest children should get the updated vaccine between the ages of 12 to 16 months old as well as 4 to 6 years old. However, your primary care provider may want to first review your child’s vaccination history before giving them the vaccine.
To keep safe during the outbreak make sure you follow national and local headlines, learn where nearby outbreaks are happening, and get your child a vaccination at local primary care ASAP!