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CDC States Growing Concern Over Widespread Measles Outbreak in the United States

By Kai Wade - Director of Communications & Social Media | February 3rd, 2015

The CDC has confirmed a riveting concern that the United States may be entering a measles epidemic. Director of the CDC, Tom Frieden, states fears is setting in as a growing number of individuals who have not been vaccinated against the disease are being exposed to the rest of the world.

In a recent interview, Frieden announced, “What we've seen is, as over the last few years, a small but growing number of people have not been vaccinated. That number is building up among young adults in society, and that makes us vulnerable. We have to make sure that measles doesn't get a foothold in the U.S. It's been actually eliminated from this country for 15 years. All of our cases result, ultimately, from individuals who have traveled and brought it back here.”

At last count, there were 102 reported cases of measles in 14 states across the country. The CDC states measles lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person and can spread through coughing and sneezing. The virus can live for up to two hours on a surface or in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If an individual breathes in the virus-ridden air or touches a contaminated surface, and then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected.

Measles typically starts with a fever and then a cough, runny nose and red eyes. A rash of tiny red spots breaks out and appears first on the head region and then the rest of the body.

Measles Outbreak Campaign

The CDC has initiated a progressive campaign to combat the spread of the highly contagious disease — by identifying and isolating individuals who may have the disease.

The CDC advises the best way to halt the spread of the Measles is by getting vaccinated. At least 92 percent of the population is vaccinated. However, the number of children who are not vaccinated, is significantly higher in some states, particularly in California where the most recent outbreak of the disease was linked to Disney theme parks.

The disease most likely came from overseas, carried either by a foreign tourist or by an American coming back with the virus.

“We don't know exactly how this outbreak started but we do think it was likely a person infected with measles overseas,” stated Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

President Obama Discusses Outbreak

During an interview on NBC, President Barack Obama strongly insisted that parents vaccinate their children. “You should get your kids vaccinated,” President Obama stated. While the Measles was long thought eradicated, it has reemerged since vaccines became a subject of controversy.

“The fact is a major success of our civilization is our ability to prevent diseases that in the past have devastated folks,” Obama further stated. “Measles is preventable. I understand that there are families that are concerned about the effect of vaccinations. The science is pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. My children are vaccinated.”

CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.



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