Officially eradicated in 2000, measles is back …
(Lena H. Sun, Washington Post)
People who don’t get vaccinated are the most likely reason for the steady increase in the rate of measles and major outbreaks in the United States, according to an analysis published in JAMA Pediatrics.
The findings add to the body of evidence linking failure to vaccinate with the spread of the highly infectious and potentially fatal disease.
Once common in the U.S., measles was eliminated nationally in 2000 but has made a return in recent years largely because of people who reject vaccinating their children, experts say.
Most of those cases occur when the disease is brought into the country by unvaccinated people who get infected in other countries, where measles may remain endemic.
Unvaccinated globetrotters bringing bugs home
The 2014-2015 outbreak that originated at Disneyland most likely started when a traveler who became infected overseas visited the theme park.
The authors said the rate of measles increased over time, with 10 of 13 outbreaks with at least 20 cases occurring after 2010. In 2014, the United States recorded 667 measles cases, a record since the disease’s official elimination.
A common scenario is this: A family leaves the country on vacation and one child gets infected and develops measles upon returning to the United States.
“Then the child goes to a play group with other kids who are unvaccinated, and those kids catch measles,” said Saad Omer, a professor of global health, epidemiology and pediatrics at Emory University.
Although measles vaccination rates remain high overall nationally, there are communities across the country where vaccine coverage is slipping below the 90 percent to 95 percent level that experts say is needed to prevent an outbreak.“
“Americans should get vaccinated and make sure that we maintain this social norm in our play groups, in all of our communities,” Omer said. READ THE FULL STORY AT SEACOASTONLINE.COM. Also of interest: How To Know If Your Child Needs A Doc Or The ER