Why are Measles Coming Back? How You Can Prevent a Measles Infection

April 2, 2019

The recent headlines have been unnerving if not outright frightening: measles are coming back and cases of the disease have exceeded since previous years.

The number of cases in the first three months of 2019 have exceeded all cases in 2018, according to NBC News reports using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) numbers. Measles cases in 2019 already reached 387 cases as outbreaks have occurred rapidly in a handful of states.

Outbreaks of the disease are shocking for a few reasons. First off, measles was believed to be virtually eradicated over 20 years ago but has since began to bounce back. The second and most alarming factor is that a growing number of parents are changing their minds about vaccinations and forgoing vaccines for their children.

So why exactly have measles made a comeback into the national spotlight? What are some of the risk factors for measles and how can you protect you and your family from a potential measles infection?

Measles have comeback as more parents have decided to not vaccinate their children

measles case for young child

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To explain the recent outbreak of measles it helps to understand the entire current story (per CBS News): A mix of behavioral factors, skepticism from parents, and specific community risk have led to over 300 cases since late December of 2018/early 2019.

  • Outbreaks of vaccinations in Washington state and New York state were widely reported by the CDC at the start of 2019. Further inquiry found that many parents in state counties were not vaccinating their children for the disease.
  • The reasons discussed by many anti-vaxxing campaigns for not getting their children mainly focused on fear and misinformation about vaccines. Specifically, many anti-vaccination advocates believe vaccines cause autism even though numerous studies have disproved this link for several years.
  • Large corporations, medical experts, and public health experts provide guidance on how to properly vaccinate and discredit anti-vaxxing messaging. For example, GoFundMe the popular crowdsourcing platform pledged to remove anti-vaxxing campaigns.
  • While medical experts continue to denounce misinformation, outbreaks have occurred in 15 states including:
    • California (two counties)
    • New York City
    • New York (Rockland County)
    • New Jersey
    • Washington

Simply put, even a few unvaccinated children or adults in local communities have helped to spread the disease in the last few months. Make sure that you are following news updates and local public health announcements to see if measles are a community risk.

Protect your children with the MMR vaccine at an early age

child receives MMR vaccine from physician

The most effective way to protect your children from the measles virus is to get an MMR or MMRV vaccination.

The MMR/MMRV (Measles, mumps, rubella, varicella) vaccination helps children as young as 12 months build immunity to the disease. Not only does MMR protects against measles but it also helps build infection against three other diseases. The MMRV vaccine additionally protects against varicella zoster virus, which is better known as “chickenpox.”

Public health experts recommend getting your child vaccinated for the MMR vaccine between the ages of 12-15 months and then a second time at the ages of 4-6. Experts also recommend that teenagers and younger adults should review their vaccination history if they aren’t sure about previous vaccinations.

However, some parents may still believe that vaccinations can make their child partially ill or have some additional fears about vaccinations. Here are some basic facts about vaccinations that can help you guide decision making:

  • Just about every child should get their updated measles vaccines. Only a medical provider can determine if a child as an outstanding circumstance for not getting a vaccine which includes a potential allergic reaction. However, most medical providers will highly recommend to update your child’s MMR vaccines accordingly.
  • Vaccines are not linked to the development of worsened health conditions or diseases. A vaccine cannot make a child or adult infected with a disease.
  • Disregard any anti-vaxxing literature or messaging on the internet, social media, or elsewhere. Autism Speaks, the nation’s leading autism awareness organization, explains that the causes of autism are rooted in genetic and environmental factors like advance mother/pregnancy age.

If you want more information about the MMR vaccination, please contact a trust medical provider such as your primary care provider or your nearby AFC Urgent Care center.

Need, want, or not sure about your child’s measles vaccination? Make sure to visit AFC Urgent Care Denver Speer!

pediatric patient during doctor's visit smiling

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All the news headlines, public debates, and measles outbreaks can cause anxiety or stress, especially if you’re unsure about your vaccination history or risks. Thankfully, there are few easy prevention steps that can help you evaluate you and your child’s risks:

  1. Learn about areas, countries, and other locations that have experienced measles outbreaks: check the CDC website, your local county/city public health department, and trusted news sources for information. If you are planning to travel to any of these aares consult a trusted medical professional before your trip.
  2. Review your vaccination history: whether it is with your primary care provider over the phone or in person, it helps to make sure you and your family has all their updated info.

Parents in the Denver Speer are that need measles vaccines for their children can always stop by AFC Urgent Care Denver Speer for fast, affordable, and same-day vaccinations. Looking for a vaccine but don’t want to wait elsewhere? Lucky for you AFC Denver Speer provides walk-in access whenever you have the time to bring your child in.

Don’t wait to consider a potential measles vaccination for your child. Use the button below to schedule an appointment to get your vaccination or consult our team of urgent care experts about your child’s vaccination history!

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