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707563 tn?1553635552

Measles outbreaks in the US, across the world - symptoms, transmission, prevention

The CDC has identified current measles outbreaks in 18 states in the US. Additionally, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Madagascar, Philippines, Ukraine, Russia and several other countries are also seeing a resurgence in measles. (To check locations - https://www.precisionvaccinations.com/measles-hot-spots-include-clark-county-new-york-city-rockland-county-usa or https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html)

Measles had nearly disappeared in the U.S. It's back due to lower rates of vaccinations. Nearly all of those currently infected are unvaccinated.

Is there an outbreak near you?

Do you know the symptoms? How to prevent the spread of measles?

Measles is HIGHLY contagious, and health organizations estimate that 9 out of every 10 non-immune individuals who come into contact with measles will be infected. (https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/transmission.html)

We aren't here to debate vaccines - science has proven they do not cause autism - but they do work. Other prevention steps are similar to that for colds and flu - wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer, cover your mouth when you cough and your nose when you sneeze, don't kiss people who are sick, and don't touch your face if your hands aren't clean.

Measles signs and symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms of measles typically include:

    *Fever
    *Dry cough
    *Runny nose
    *Sore throat
    *Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
    *Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik's spots
    *A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another

A person with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.

(https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/measles/symptoms-causes/syc-20374857)

What are your concerns about this?

3 Responses
134578 tn?1546634665
We live near the area with low vaccination rates that has seen a measles outbreak this past winter. At the time measles was in the news, our son got ill with something that had a high fever, but no sore throat and no rash. He has also had his measles vaccination. Just to be sure, I looked it up. All available sources said the vaccine is effective, and absent the rash and sore throat, I don't even know why I wondered, except that measles had been so lately in the news. If you're wondering if something is the measles, there is lots of online information available about symptoms.
1 Comments
If I lived where you lived, or near an outbreak, I'd wonder, too. I think it's natural.

207091 tn?1337713093
I'm vaccinated, but what about booster shots? Is that really a thing?
1 Comments
Good question.

According to the CDC, no. If you've had 2 shots as a child, you are considered protected for life.

If you are traveling to an area of high risk, and you aren't sure, you should talk to your doctor about your needs.

You can read more here: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/faqs.html#need-booster

1415174 tn?1453246703
COMMUNITY LEADER
AnnieBrooke,
Also, The MMR vaccine (Mumps, Measles and Rubella) gives immunity about 97% of the time. But no longer covers Chicken pox. You can get a test for immunity. If you have immunity you are covered. If not you can get revaccinated . Some work places may require re-vaccination if you don't have proof of having the vaccine as well. It sounds like your son had some other type of virus if there was no rash.
regards,
mkh9
13 Comments
Yeah, it's that "about 97% of the time" figure that I could not get more information on, which was why I was looking up measles even though my son had both of his shots. All info out there says "and if you do fall in the 3%, you would have a milder case," and I wanted to know if it meant all the symptoms would be present but not in much force, or if you could get one symptom out of the three and not the other two. No info out there on that interesting question. lol But I'm sure it wasn't the measles that he had.

I've been vaccinated for chicken pox even though I had them when I was a kid, just to try to avoid shingles. (I guess there is also a shingles vaccine now.) When you say that the MMR "no longer covers" chicken pox, I assume you are saying that it is given separately to kids, not as part of the MMR? Because I'm sure my son got his chicken pox vaccinations along with everything else.
Hi,
Well I haven't seen data on a "mild case of measles". Perhaps they are referring to some children that get maybe a less intense form perhaps or German measles vs. regular measles. I just read that you can also still get measles if someone from another country comes here and has a different strain than what is in the vaccine. I would think you might have some immunity but still get it. They do constant surveillance for new and emerging strains like they do for the flu.  

Yes Chicken pox vaccine is given separately from the MMR . So it is not in that vaccine.

Regards,
mkh9
Hi, mkh9, you might check your data on the above statements.

People can't get German measles if they are exposed to measles, they are not the same virus.

Also, measles is an astonishingly stable virus, it's exactly the same strain and form as it was when they first began to develop the vaccine (I think in the 1950s); it doesn't have emerging new strains. That's why the vaccine is so reliable against it, and in fact, that is why people only get measles once if they get them. After that, they are immune, due to the antibodies in their system. If the virus changed a lot, people would have to get measles shots often, and they don't.

The only place I could find that even began to hint at the explanation of having a 97%-effective figure (and not a 100%-effective figure) is a site that said possibly someone could have a failure of the measles vaccine if the place where they got it had something wrong with the refrigeration where they kept the shots, and the vaccine had gotten too warm and had lost its effectiveness. But even that article didn't connect that scenario explicitly to why the 97% figure is so often given.
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mmr/public/https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mmr/public/
I sent another message. It doesn't look like it got sent.
I have several links on it from the CDC. If you look at their site on Measles you will see what I mean. I am sorry if I was not clear on German measles versus regular measles. I think I gave you too much information. Just look around on the CDC site.
regards,
mkh9
Yes, I've read there are TWENTY ONE different strains of measles (in the Merck Manual which is used by doctors and teaching hospitals).  

The issue with measles is also that same issue with the flu.  People rarely die of 'flu'.  They die from the post secondary infections such as pneumonia, sepsis, and even immflamation of the brain.  Those secondary infections in a compromised patient can be deadly.  Measles and flu have that in common.  

I found this article to be a pretty good read. https://www.webmd.com/children/vaccines/news/20150210/measles-vaccine-myths#1.  It explains about vaccinations and strains.  The measles virus has many strains but they are often similar enough to be vulnerable to the available vaccine.  It's not like flu which changes rapidly and vaccines become less effective.  Generally, they do believe that the Measles vaccine will protect against all strains.  But I can see your point, Mhk as a microbiologist that there 'could' be strains from places that may not be covered.  You can google "Disney Measles outbreak came from overseas" and that has been in the news not terribly long ago.  

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts.  As to anomalies of the vaccine not working, that's really to be expected in data as you will likely never find something that is one hundred percent effective.  Even the polio vaccine is said to be 95% effective.  

I live in a state where a young adult male just made the news for going ahead and vaccinating himself when his parents had refused.  Seriously, vaccinate your kids people!
The reason that a vaccine containing a single genotype (Type A) is effective against all strains is that while measles has many genotypes, there is only ONE serotype.
There's a fairly easy-to-understand explanation here: https://vaxopedia.org/2017/05/12/measles-vaccines-vs-measles-strains/
We have had many cases of measles in Minnesota, mainly Minneapolis/St Paul area.  Most of the ones with the outbreaks are from other countries and are not vaccinated.

I had German measles as a baby.  from what i am reading i should be immuned from any strain of measles?
No, unfortunately, German Measles (Rubella) is a different virus than regular measles (Rubeola). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rubella/symptoms-causes/syc-20377310

If you have not had measles and have not been vaccinated against measles, you are not likely immune.
Thanks for the info Curfew.  I need to check my baby book and see if my mom wrote anything down.  I need to know.
I forgot to look so will ask here, when did the vaccination for mealses start. I was born in 1961
The first measles shot hit the market in 1963, with another following shortly after, but there was a much more intensive push for everyone to get vaccinated that began in the mid- to late 1970s. I can remember my nieces and nephews all getting vaccinated against the diseases that (when I was little) were classed as "normal childhood diseases," and marveling that they would never know what it meant to have chicken pox or measles.

It's possible to be tested to see if you have gotten vaccinated for the measles, but if you don't have any record of having gotten the shot, evidently the recommendation is just to get the shot rather than bother with testing. The test apparently would cost more than the shot, and takes two visits to the doctor where a shot just takes one (or, in my neighborhood, a trip to Walgreen's). So if you really can't find out, it's probably smart just to go get a shot and not think twice about it.

Oh, keep the record of having done so. When I was 43, my law school required proof of vaccination as a condition of entering school. My written record of having been vaccinated was long gone (probably lost when I was a child -- my mom had 5 kids). When I told a professor that the school had made me get re-vaccinated, he said, "Good for us!" (A torts professor, he probably was thinking about lawsuits if an epidemic broke out.)  It felt a little odd to go for shots I knew to be redundant, but without proof it was pretty much my only choice. And getting the shots was no big deal: no reactions, no sore arm, no swelling.
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