The United States is currently facing not one but three measles outbreaks, and once again the main culprit is people’s refusal to get vaccinated. According to the CDC, the current outbreaks (defined as three or more cases) are concentrated in Washington State, New York State, and New York City. The agency says international travelers returning from Israel and Ukraine—where large outbreaks recently occurred—appear to be spreading the measles in the United States. The CDC says measles are more likely to spread in areas with “pockets of unvaccinated people.”
Symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes, followed up by flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread down throughout the body. Measles can progress to include serious complications and even death, especially in young children, so this is serious stuff.
For specific information on the current outbreaks, visit the following links:
So what should you do if you live in one of these areas? It’s not complicated. Get vaccinated, especially if you’re traveling internationally, and doubly especially if you’re traveling to Israel or Ukraine. If you’re not sure where to go to get a vaccination, you can find a wealth of information on the CDC’s website, including a “vaccine finder” that lets you find places based in your zip code.
The CDC says there have been 79 cases of measles so far this year in the states that reported data, and it’s only February. So please do your part or it’s going to be a long year.