Get the facts on measles to remain protected
In recent months, measles
A disease once thought to have been
eradicated in developed countries has
become a newsmaker once again, with
reported cases affecting various areas of
The American Red Cross says the
United States is presently experiencing
the highest number of measles cases
since the disease was considered eliminated
in the country back in 2000. Seventy
fi ve new cases were reported in
one week in May 2019, bringing the total
confi rmed cases to 839 across 23 states
at that point. Canada reported six confi
rmed cases at the same time.
In recent months, measles has been
reported in Arizona, California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,
Texas, and Washington. Even though all
50 states require measles vaccinations
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, AUGUST 3 50 0-SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 BTR
prior to children entering school, there
are some medical exemptions, and exemptions
for religious and philosophical
reasons, according to the Red Cross.
The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention says that measles outbreaks
are linked to travelers who bring measles
back from other countries. Measles
outbreaks have been documented in Israel,
Ukraine and the Philippines.
In New York, state senators and other
politicians have pushed to end non-medical
exemptions, including religious waivers
from vaccinations. Roughly 530 cases
of measles were confi rmed in an area of
Brooklyn, New York, between October
2018 and May 2019, leading Mayor Bill
de Blasio to declare a public health emergency
and ordering mandatory vaccinations
under the threat of $1,000 fi nes.
Schools in Lakewood, New Jersey,
were shuttered for many days due to
measles cases. Some schools sent the
message that children will not be able to
attend without proof of vaccination.
Measles is a highly contagious virus
that lives in the mucus of infected people.
It is spread through coughing and sneezing.
Measles is so contagious that if one
person has it, 90 percent of those close to
that individual who are not immune will
be infected, says the CDC. Early symptoms
include a high fever, cough, runny
nose, and red, watery eyes. Within two
or three days of such symptoms surfacing,
small white spots may appear in the
mouth before a red measles rash on the
face and body develops.
The best protection against measles
is a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine,
which provides long-lasting protection.
Children typically receive two
doses of MMR — one as an infant and
one between the ages of four and six.
Those concerned about measles can
speak with their doctors about a measles
booster and the various risk factors for
has been reported in
Arizona, California, Colorado,
Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland,
Missouri, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Jersey,
New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania,