Los Angeles County Measles Outbreak Under Investigation

Thursday, 25 Apr, 2019

According to a report by the World Health Organization, there are 110,000 cases worldwide so far - a 300 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

Previously, the highest number of reported cases since elimination was 667 in 2014. While measles vaccine given to unvaccinated persons within 72 hours of exposure can prevent disease, it is still appropriate for any unvaccinated person to receive MMR regardless of time of exposure.

Measles symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

The resurgence of measles this year has hit multiple states and has spurred debate over how to stop the viral infection from spreading. For the 2017-18 school year, Colorado's kindergarten vaccination rate for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ranked second to last in the USA, with a coverage rate of 89 percent. It is considered to be an outbreak when more than five cases are reported in a close geographical area. The vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

The contagious nature of the disease coupled with global travel and communities with low vaccination rates have all contributed to the spike in cases being seen in the U.S. Among those who are unvaccinated, it may be because of personal beliefs and medical reasons.

If you know you've had one dose of the measles/MMR vaccine on schedule, that's enough if.

Michigan's current measles outbreak continues to trend in the wrong direction with the state health department reporting 42 cases as of Wednesday morning, April 17.

Measles is more common in some other countries, so people planning to travel overseas should check they have been immunised. The measles virus can be transmitted from one person to another up to 4 days before the onset of rash.

The agency noted that only about one in 10 actual measles cases are reported, meaning the early trends for 2019 likely underestimate the severity of the outbreaks.

Ferrer said her department was coordinating with LAX officials to make sure that the word about free vaccines got out to 7,000 workers at Los Angeles International Airport, identified as a point of potential exposure on April 1.

"They were using two different vaccines".

But the double-dose vaccine is highly effective and lasts a lifetime for those who have been immunized. Two doses of measles vaccine are over 97 percent protective against the disease. There were 963 cases reported in the United States in 1994 and 508 in 1996. There is no specific treatment for measles, only prevention.

Dr. Duwell says measles is an airborne virus.

The FDA approved the vaccine almost 50 years ago. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk.