Measles, the most deadly of the childhood rash/fever illnesses, is back with a vengeance in North America. More than 250 new cases have been identified in the Canadian province of Quebec since the beginning of the year. Of those, 208 have been diagnosed since the beginning of May. The New York State Department of Health yesterday issued doctors there a notice to be on the alert for the killer disease. There have been 13 new cases in the Big Apple since the beginning of the year. Two of the three newest cases are in adults, and one is an 8 month old child. None of the three had recently traveled abroad, which indicates to health officials that the disease is spreading here from person to unvaccinated person.
Modern medicine has developed a vaccine that in essence makes measles 100% preventable. The currently popularity of the dangerous and ill conceived anti-vaccination movement, however, puts many individuals at unnecessary risk. Measles is very easily spread through airborne droplets created by sneezing, spitting and coughing. Unvaccinated persons coming into contact with those infected materials are likely to develop the disease. Two doses of the vaccine are needed for complete protection. Children should be given the first dose of the vaccine between 12 -15 months of age. The second dose can be given as soon as 4 weeks later, but should definitely be given before the child enters Kindergarten. If you would like more information on free or reduced cost immunizations for children, click here http://1.usa.gov/mLy2S4. Adults born after 1957 who have not had measles or been vaccinated against them are at risk and should get at least one dose of measles vaccine. There are certain people who should not receive the measles vaccine, or should wait for it. You can find out more about those cases at http://1.usa.gov/intpJD.
Measles outbreaks in the U.S. in the late 1980’s and 1990’s infected over 50,000 people. One hundred died. If you, or someone you know, are on the fence about vaccinations as a healthcare professional I implore you to gather as much science based information as you can and VACCINATE. Pay no attention to the misleading pseudoscientific lies of the anti-vax movement. Regardless of what degrees they may have behind their names, their ideas are faddish and do not hold up to scientific scrutiny. Your life, the life of a loved one or total stranger may depend on it. Be skeptical of any advice to do something that has been proven to adversely impact your health. Stay well.