The case of measles in the United States has soared to 288 this year, which is the worst outbreak in 20 years. The growing cases of measles have kept the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worried.
The 288 cases were reported across 18 states between January 1 and May 23.
According to CDC release, “Ninety percent of all measles cases in the United States were in people who were not vaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is the highest number for one year since the disease was eliminated from the country in 2000.
Moreover, this is the largest number of measles cases that the country reported in the first five months of a year since 1994.
“We don’t want to break the record of 1994,” says Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general with the U.S. Public Health Service.
Schuchat is the director for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
This year, 52 percent of the measles cases are adults of age 20 and older. The most affected age group so far is between 2 weeks and 65 years.
“We often think of measles as a childhood disease; today’s report reminds us adults can get it, too,” says Schuchat.
If few occasional small outbreaks are kept aside, this highly contagious disease has been considered eliminated in the United States since 2000. The average has been nearly 160 since 2010.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of about 60 people in the United States contract measles every year. These people are mostly exposed to the disease in other countries who then travel here.
Meanwhile, the medical providers are on task to vaccinate the Americans against measles. Besides health officials are also recommending those who feels that they may have been exposed to the virus and are experiencing symptoms of measles.
Health officials have asked all those who have been experiencing any symptoms of measles to refer to their doctors. Doctors say, symptoms of the measles appear 10 days to two weeks after exposure. The initial symptoms include cold, fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. After two to four days of these initial symptoms, a rash may appear for a few days and then disappear. Measles are considered to be contagious up to four days before and after the rash appears. They spread more easily than almost any other disease as they communicate mainly through airborne transmission such as breathing, coughing, and sneezing.
People who may be at risk of contracting the disease includes: Infants and young children who have not received their first dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age.