Measles is Back! After being eliminated from the United States for decades, measles is making a comeback. This deadly virus that used to claim the lives of over 500 children per year has once again reared its ugly head in the U.S. with confirmed cases close to home in NY and NJ. So far in 2015, there have been 166 confirmed cases, including 1 case in NJ and 2 confirmed cases in NY. 70% of these cases have occurred as a result of the California Theme Park outbreak and most cases occur in unvaccinated people.
Why should you be concerned? The measles virus is a highly contagious disease that presents just like any other virus with fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and in a few days a red raised rash that usually starts on the face and spreads downward. People are contagious 4 days before and 4 days after development of the rash. Therefore, you can be exposed before the infected person even knows they have the disease. Should your child experience any symptoms or you think your child has been exposed, seek medical attention immediately. Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care emergency expereinced pediatricians are trained to spot the signs and symptoms of the measles virus.
Before the production of the vaccine in 1971, complications were frequent and included pneumonia, hepatitis, cardiac complications, encephalitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord) and death. The fatality rate was previously 1 in 1000 infected children, but no fatalities have occurred in many years. However, because of declining vaccine rates, last year there were 23 outbreaks involving a confirmed 668 cases across 27 states of the U.S. The highest since 1994.
So be smart don’t let the media scare you away from protecting your children with a vaccine that has protected millions of children and saved thousands of lives. The link between autism and MMR vaccine has been completely refuted and discredited.
So Take Action! Help stop the measles outbreaks by getting your child vaccinated at 12 months with a booster at 4 years of age and consult your Pediatrician if you have a child under 1 year traveling to another country. Should you have any questions about the measles or other viruses, call our Kinder Pediatric Urgent Care center at 732.372.4813.