Measles Outbreak Reaches Pennsylvania, Possible Exposure In New Jersey, Health Officials Warn

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County health officials say these cases are not linked to the ongoing measles outbreak in the USA or to the measles case reported earlier in the week in a county resident. It is followed by a rash that spreads over the body.

How do I know if I have measles and not just a cold or the flu?

In an interview published by Oxford Vaccine Group, Dr. Manish Sadarangani estimates that in the case of measles, at least 90-95% of the population needs to be vaccinated to maintain herd immunity and safeguard the young and the infirm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year's count includes 44 people who caught the disease while traveling in another country.

People are contagious from four days before the rash develops until four days after.

Free MMR vaccine is only available for children participating in the Vaccines for Children Program and for certain individuals who may qualify based upon local health department fee schedules.

"What you don't want to do is to go to a busy pediatric waiting room, for example, and potentially expose others", said Sammons, urging anyone who's concerned to speak with a care team for guidance before coming in. Measles can spread quickly in communities where people are not vaccinated, the CDC reported. The first dose is given when the child is between 12 months and 15 months of old and the second dose is given between 4 and 6 years of age.

But there's a snag: From 1963 to 1967, doctors used different types of measles vaccines before discovering that one - the "killed" version - was ineffective.

Only adults who are considered at high risk need two doses of MMR, each dose separated by at least 28 days. Officials have blamed this in part on unscrupulous doctors issuing spurious exemptions, prompting lawmakers to consider new legislation that would give the state the final say over whether a medical exemption is valid. "And the vaccine they had at that time was what they're calling a "kill virus vaccine" and it wasn't as effective as some of the vaccines we have now".

"Only 78.51 to 82.8 percent of 19 to 35-month-old children received the standard or two-visit MMR vaccine in our county", said Carlstrom.

For people in the midst of an outbreak who can't get vaccinated, are unsure about their status or think they might be infected, public health experts recommend limiting contact that could spread the virus - including keeping unvaccinated kids home from school. Once you are pregnant, it is not safe to get this vaccine, so it's important to be proactive.

But what if you don't have written documentation of the right vaccine? "It's a standard blood test".

In addition to the cases involving county residents, there have been five cases among non-residents who traveled through the county. Some 25 percent of those who contract measles are hospitalized. "You will not be getting measles if you are vaccinated". The longer these outbreaks continue, the greater the chance measles will again get a sustained foothold in the United States, according to the CDC. Some adults may be unable to find their immunization records.

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