Once upon a time, it was rather common for children to contract the measles. Today, however, the infection occurs much less. Kids who suffer from the virus are at risk of serious health complications and even death.1 However, reports indicate that the condition is seeing a bit of an increase this year.
Rising occurrences of outbreak
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the median annual number of measles cases in the U.S. was just 60 from 2001 to 2012. Unfortunately, the trend of these low numbers seems to have hit a bit of an obstacle. As of August 24, 2013, there had been 159 reports of measles since January 1, 2013. These outbreaks took place across 16 states and a majority of the infected patients had not been vaccinated for the virus.2
Professionals have located eight different outbreaks that are responsible for most of the instances of measles that have occurred this year. One of these is the largest in the U.S. since 1996. This took place in New York City, where 58 cases of the infection have been reported so far this year.3
It has been warned that outbreaks are often the result of a traveler who contracts measles while overseas. There have been 42 individuals who picked up the condition while abroad this year. Three outbreaks took place in locations where the population had high rates of individuals who were not vaccinated due to philosophical or religious reasons. These patients make up two-thirds of all cases this year.
Only 13 of the patients who contracted measles were vaccinated for the virus, meaning that vaccination can go a long way in prevention. This is especially true for children who are traveling out of the U.S., making them the most likely candidates to bring the infection back with them and start the spread of an outbreak.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told CBS News that nearly half of the cases in which measles was imported to the United States came from Europe.4 Although it would be in all parents' best interest to vaccinate their infants, those who are traveling here and to other destinations outside of the U.S. could benefit most from a shot for preventing the virus.
Reports indicate that there have been no fatalities as a result of the current measles outbreak to date. In order to prevent further spreading of the infection, parents should highly consider having their children vaccinated for the virus.
Medex Supply provides health care professionals with infection control supplies that may aid hospitals and doctors in their fight against future outbreaks of the measles. You will also find a number of other necessary medical supplies here.
1 Mayo Clinic, "Measles: definition" June 1, 2011
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Measles – United States, January 1-August 24, 2013" September 13, 2013
3 LiveScience, "Measles vaccination still important to avoid outbreaks, CDC warns" September 12, 2013
4 CBS News, "CDC: Vaccine 'philosophical differences' driving up U.S. measles rates" September 12, 2013