SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - According to the CDC, the United States has seen the most cases of measles this year since 1992.
Recent reports indicate the number of cases surpassing 1100 with more than 100 patients needing to be hospitalized.
Even though ‘home grown’ cases of measles have been under control for decades, it’s important to remember that measles is still very common in other parts of the world. When the disease travels to the U.S. those who unvaccinated are at risk.
The MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella is recommended for children beginning at age one.
There’s also a booster between ages four and six, but it’s never too late to get the MMR vaccine if a person did not receive one as a child.
“What happens with the measles, more so than with a lot of these other types of viruses that circulate through the season, is it really causes a lot more pneumonias,” Dr. Frank Esper from the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital said. So, it gets into your lungs and it can cause a bad pneumonia, and it can get into your blood, which then goes to the brain and can cause a lot of bad brain swelling–about one to two out of every thousand children will get brain swelling, and about one outof every twenty will get pneumonia."
“We understand that just because you have a little redness and a little soreness, and even some of these vaccines will cause a little bit of a fever, that can have implications for the families. It’s just that the benefits so far outweigh that little short-term problem.”
The CDC reports the majority of measles cases were in people who were unvaccinated.
More than 75 percent of these cases are linked to outbreaks in New York State and New York City.