Measles cases around the country are approaching their highest total since the disease was declared eliminated in the US almost two decades ago.
Just yesterday, there were 71 new cases reported in the U.S.
CNN analyzed data from 22 states that have reported confirmed cases of the measles this year and determined 681 cases have been declared.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating a measles outbreak after five measles cases were confirmed so far this year among county residents, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Last week, the New York City health department said two people contracted the illness from the United Kingdom and one from Ukraine. However, symptoms don't usually show up for a week or two after exposure meaning it can be spread by people who've been infected but don't know they have the measles and may assume it's a cold or other illness.
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Dr Shoemack said the European backpacker, who has since recovered, has returned home and the people she infected have also all recovered from their illnesses. Fraser Health is arranging over 150 community and school-based clinics throughout the region to ensure children are fully immunized against the measles virus.
Symptoms of measles include a rash that starts on the face and neck and then spreads, a high fever, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes. Pregnant women who get measles are at risk of premature delivery and having a low-birth-weight baby. The virus can live in the air for up to two hours after a cough or sneeze and is spread by breathing contaminated air or touching an infected surface. Measles can be serious with around one in 10 people who get measles needing to be hospitalised.
According to World Health Organization, measles outbreaks are now happening in Madagascar, Sudan, Thailand, Philippines, Ukraine, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and more.
The measles vaccine first became available in 1963, and for a few years there were two different vaccines.
When Public Health identifies contacts of a person confirmed to have measles during an investigation and that contact does not have written verification of 2 measles immunization doses, they will be subject to quarantine of up to 21 days from date of exposure.
"Simply put, vaccines are the best defense against the threat of vaccine-preventable diseases and play a vital role in protecting the health of communities". The second dose is given when the child is between 4 and 6 years old. Anyone planning to travel internationally, should make sure they are protected against measles and other unsafe diseases before they go overseas. "I would think that we will see less cases and outbreaks of measles in states that eliminate nonmedical vaccine exemptions". Among those who are unvaccinated, it may be because of personal beliefs and medical reasons. One dose is 93 per cent effective; with both doses, effectiveness goes up to 97%.
Of the 626 cases, 487 are in people 19 and younger.