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Measles Outbreaks: What You Need to Know

Published by Nicole Porter on

As you may have heard, the US has been experiencing a concerning rise in measles cases. As of April 12, 2024, there have been 121 confirmed cases, a significant increase from the 62 confirmed cases reported just three weeks earlier on March 22nd. For perspective, in 2023 there were only 58 cases for the whole year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges everyone, especially children and international travelers, to get vaccinated against measles.

Why Are We Seeing These Outbreaks Now?
Disruptions in routine vaccinations, including the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, for many children during the COVID-19 pandemic are a key factor. This drop in childhood vaccination coverage unfortunately coincided with a decrease in vaccine confidence and growing resistance to vaccine requirements. Misinformation about vaccine safety has added to this public health concern.

Why This Is Important

  • Measles is highly contagious and can cause serious health complications, even death.
  • Most cases this year involve unvaccinated children aged 12 months and older.
  • Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are 97% effective.

What You Can Do

  • Review the fact sheet below for detailed information about measles and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.
  • Ensure your children are up to date on all vaccinations, including MMR.
  • If you’re planning international travel, contact your doctor at least 2 weeks beforehand to check if you or your children need vaccinations.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important update! Measles is a preventable disease, but it requires everyone, especially children, to be up-to-date on their MMR vaccinations. So take some time to make sure your family is up-to-date and schedule a vaccination appointment if necessary!

CDC: Measles Cases and Outbreaks (Updated April 12, 2024)
CDC HAN Health Advisory: CDCHAN-00504
Measles cases in US rise to 62 as of Thursday, says CDC