Alarming Measles Outbreak in United States of America

Dr. Reepa Agrawal
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10 Aug, 2019

United States of America is having a very alarming measles disease outbreak in the post vaccination era. According to CDC, 1172 cases of measles have been reported from around 30 states from 1st January 2019 to 1st August 2019. Out of these, 124 patients required hospitalisation and around 64 had complications. This year is the worst hit after measles was declared to be eliminated in the year 2000. New York and New York city has reported 75% of these cases. Cases have also been reported in California, Alaska, Indiana, Arizona, Florida, Colarado, Ohio, Iowa, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Georgia, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Virginia, New York, Washington, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine and New Mexico.

Measles is a vaccine preventable infectious disease caused by paramyxovirus. It presents like an acute exanthematous febrile illness with cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, Koplik spots, fever, maculopapular rash which may complicate as pneumonia or encephalitis. It spreads through aerosol and a person is infective four days prior and four days after the rash appears. Associated malnutrition and immunocompromised state can lead to complications and death due to measles. Long term complication known as SSPE (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis) is a dreadful incurable neurological disease which can affect any age group.

CDC data mentions this year outbreak is caused by Wild type D8 or B3 virus. The comeback of this disease is being attributed to poor vaccination coverage and immigration of travellers into the United States from countries where currently similar outbreak is present which includes Philippines. Two doses of MMR vaccination give almost 96% protection to individuals against Measles. It is a pity that some parents are refusing MMR vaccination and hence posing a life risk to children.



References:

CDC. Measles Cases and Outbreaks.
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