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DrG's Medisense Feature Article

24033-Measles_Resurge Measles Resurgence
by Ann Gerhardt, MD
February 2023
Print Version

Measles is a thoroughly miserable viral illness causing high fever, muscle aches, cough, headache, runny nose, sore throat, painful, swollen lymph nodes and rash. 
It can also cause severe ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia and encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain causing permanent damage). Prior to vaccine introduction in 1963, worldwide it caused millions of deaths, predominantly of young children, with hundreds in the United States, because there is no treatment.  My mother and her first three children all had the infection at the same time, turning our living room into a sick ward of a moaning mom and kids.  We all survived without permanent brain damage. 

Click Here - JPG Photo - Measles Infection

The vaccine was introduced in 1963, after which disease and death rates plunged in the U.S.  Suffering the disease in childhood confers long-lasting immunity that declines somewhat over time.  The vaccine and a large cohort of people who had had the disease as a child created herd immunity, which means that enough people were immune to it to minimize the likelihood that new cases would occur in young children.  In 2000, The World Health Organization declared that measles had been eradicated in the U.S. as a result of vaccination.  A few decades ago the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began recommending that adults born after 1957 who have no immunity (determined by a lab test) should receive two MMR (measles, mumps & rubella) vaccine doses, since they were less likely to have developed immunity from having the infections as a child. 

Unfortunately, measles wasn’t eradicated in the rest of the world, where there had not been wide-spread vaccination and  children continued to contract and die from measles. 

Now we again have measles in this country.  Exposed adults from other countries traveling to the U.S. could have brought it back to us and infected non-immune children and adults.  Now that anti-vax idiots have reduced the proportion of our population that is vaccinated, (only 93% of kindergartners each year receive it and other recommended vaccines), we no longer have herd immunity.  Public health officials have reported increasing numbers of cases, to a total of 8770 measles cases and one death in 2020, spread throughout CA, FL, NY, RI, ME, CO, WI, ID, HI and Alaska.  Cases declined through 2021 but are again being reported. 

So vaccinate your children, check with your doctor about your own need for a vaccine and keep your distance from sick people, especially children with a rash╣