Measles is a highly contagious virus that we thought we’d beat a number of years ago. Unfortunately, recently we’ve seen a resurgence of measles right here in Connecticut, in New York, Massachusetts and California.
The Connecticut Department of Health reported 2 confirmed cases in Fairfield cases, supposedly un-related to one another. Connecticut had been clear of the virus for years due to the very successful MMR vaccination campaign. MMR, or Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine had effectively knocked the disease out of the state of Connecticut up until this most recent outbreak of measles. The disease was virtually eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, and most of these recent cases can be traced back to infections imported from other countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. As of March 21, 51 cases have been reported in the U.S. this year, and New York City’s health department reported 16 cases just last week.
Spread through the air, measles is highly contagious.
What are Measles Symptoms:
Measles symptoms can include bright red eyes, runny nose, rash and fever. Often times the rash will start at the hairline, and can appear on the soles of the feet and palms of the hand. The virus typically goes away in 5-7 days.
If you or someone you know has been exposed to the measles, it’s important to get immunized in the first 72 hours of exposure. After that, doctors give a more intense immunization.
As for why the disease is still around, those outbreaks generally start from people who had not been vaccinated. For example there was an outbreak in New York City last March, the largest the U.S. has seen since 1996, which stemmed from a 17-year-old who had intentionally not gotten vaccinated. Controversy surrounding the MMR vaccine still exists.
At we highly recommend parents following the vaccine regimen set forth by pediatricians as part of a child’s regular vaccination schedule. We are able to do a blood test on premises to determine if the virus is present. Do not hesitate to come in if you or a loved one has these symptoms and you suspect measles.