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Measles Again!

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The source for this information was a news release by ABC/7 with input from the Florida State Health Department1, because it is one of the best summaries I have read of what people, especially parents, caregivers and family members, need to know for their children’s and the general public’s safety, with regard to Measles.

Spring is coming and so is the occasional measles outbreak. Measles was essentially conquered in its endemic form by rigorous vaccination programs since 1963, and seemed eradicated in the United States by 2000. The medical community has not seen it in widespread outbreaks in the past few years, as badly as in days prior to the the use of Measles vaccine (now known as MMR, Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine). But there have been outbreaks in California, Florida, New England, Washington, D.C., and Branson, MO, and the medical community expects there may be outbreaks this year which are not necessarily due to infected travelers or unvaccinated people who have become infected and entered the U.S. Again, this news release is one of the most clearly written about Measles that I have seen and it may help parents and caregivers to read it now before measles rears its ugly head again this spring! (Omitted are the statistics about Florida infections in 2015, merely to save space.) Please take a read:

“Measles is a serious respiratory disease caused by a virus of the same name (Measles). The disease is highly contagious and can spread to others who are unvaccinated.

“We applaud all who have gotten vaccinated or confirmed their immunity in light of the unfortunate cases of measles in Florida this year”, said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Vaccination remains the best way for Floridians and visitors to protect their children, themselves and their communities from what is ultimately a serious yet preventable illness.”

People who are particularly susceptible are pregnant women, infants under the age of 12 months and people who are immunocompromised.

Vaccinations are available year round through health departments [in Florida’s 67 counties] or your local doctor’s office. The department encourages all residents and visitors who have not been immunized to get vaccinated immediately, according to health officials.

The department says it continues to work with community health care and governmental partners in sharing the facts about measles and the benefit of being vaccinated.

The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is about 97 percent effective if both scheduled doses are received. This means about three out of every 100 fully vaccinated persons may still be affected, according to health officials.

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1 News release by ABC/7 with input from the Florida Health Department, April 24, 2015, on Measles.

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