Thursday, April 18, 2024

Spike in Measles Cases Could Reverse US Elimination Status

The science is overwhelming that vaccines work.  Unfortunately, in these days of instant information people have access to practically anyone's opinion... right or wrong.  These "sources" of information that declare vaccines are evil and cause all kinds of scientifically unproven complications have frightened many parents.  Of course, everyone wants what is best for their children and I salute that.  Caring for our next generations is noble and we should all be focused on making things better for those who follow us.

However, fear mongering about vaccines has led many well meaning families to refuse needed vaccinations for their children.  Due to that, we are seeing a rebound of measles cases here in the Untied States.  At one point in time, measles was more or less eradicated within the US, but no longer.  

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) puts out a weekly report referred to as MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) and this report dated April 11, 2024 goes into the details of the increase of measles cases here in the US.

The best way to help eliminate measles and the unnecessary suffering that comes with it is by vaccination.  The full report has lots of useful information for those interested.

The report can be accessed with this link.  

However, there is one part of the report that I'd like to provide here:


What is already known about this topic?

Although endemic U.S. measles was declared eliminated in 2000, measles importations continue to occur. Prolonged outbreaks during 2019 threatened the U.S. measles elimination status.

What is added by this report?

During January 1, 2020–March 28, 2024, a total of 338 U.S. measles cases were reported; 29% of these cases occurred during the first quarter of 2024, almost all in persons who were unvaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown. As of the end of 2023, U.S. measles elimination status was maintained.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Risk for widespread U.S. measles transmission remains low because of high population immunity. Enhanced efforts are needed to increase routine U.S. vaccination coverage, encourage vaccination before international travel, identify communities at risk for measles transmission, and rapidly investigate suspected measles cases to reduce cases and complications of measles.

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