Missouri – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have raised an alarm following the confirmation of 23 measles cases since December, marking a significant health concern due to the disease’s potential complications and its highly contagious nature.
Understanding the Recent Measles Outbreak
Dr. George Turabedlidze, associated with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, highlighted the risks associated with measles, saying that complications can include severe conditions, “Such as ear infection, pneumonia, which would be quite serious pneumonia. And it is extremely contagious, it’s one of the most contagious infections known to man.”
Measles is spread through contact with the nasal or throat secretions of infected individuals or by sharing air with someone who has the disease. The ease of transmission, primarily when an infected person coughs or sneezes, underscores the importance of preventive measures.
The U.S. has experienced a decline in measles cases since 2020. However, the recent uptick is attributed to increased national travel among unvaccinated individuals and a noticeable drop in child vaccinations. Health experts say getting the measles vaccine would lessen symptom severity and decrease the likelihood of catching the virus.
Individuals who suspect exposure to measles are advised to contact their healthcare provider and quarantine to prevent further spread. It is crucial to note that contagiousness extends from four days before to four days after the appearance of a measles rash.
For travelers, Dr. Turabedlidze recommends vaccination at least two weeks before departure to ensure protection. Currently, Missouri and Kentucky have reported positive cases, with additional cases confirmed in eight other states.
For those seeking more information on measles and protective measures, check the CDC website.