Community Corner – Measles

Community Corner – Measles

Hello everyone,

Some old diseases are making their way back into mainstream America and can have devastating results.  Many diseases are considered eradicated after many years of intense vaccine therapy and education.  Heard of any Smallpox in your neighborhood lately?  No, and you won’t.  How about Polio?  We all have a much older relative who had polio as a child and either recovered or passed away.  No cases of Polio lately.  Thanks to science and faith in vaccine safety.  These diseases are safely tucked away from us. 

I want to talk about measles. 

Here are some nice dry statistics directly from the CDC. 

History of Measles Cases

Measles was officially eliminated from the United States in 2000, meaning there is no measles spreading within the country and new cases are only found when someone contracts measles abroad and returns to the country. Achieving measles elimination status in the U.S. was a historic public health achievement.

The Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine is very safe and effective. When more than 95% of people in a community are vaccinated (coverage >95%), most people are protected through community immunity (herd immunity). However, vaccination coverage among U.S. kindergartners has decreased from 95.2% during the 2019–2020 school year to 93.1% in the 2022–2023 school year, leaving approximately 250,000 kindergartners at risk each year over the last three years. To dive into vaccine coverage data for MMR, visit VaxView | CDC.

As of April 4, 2024, a total of 113 measles cases were reported by 18 jurisdictions: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

There have been 7 outbreaks (defined as 3 or more related cases) reported in 2024, and 73% of cases (83 of 113) are outbreak-associated. For comparison, 4 outbreaks were reported during 2023 and 48% of cases (28 of 58) were outbreak-associated.

The 113 cases in the US by age:

Under 5 years: 56 (50%),
5-19 years: 26 (23%)
20+ years: 31 (27%)

The 113 cases in the US by vaccination status:

Unvaccinated or Unknown: 83%
One MMR dose: 12%
Two MMR doses: 5%

The hospitalization rate of the 113 cases:

58% of cases hospitalized (65 of 113 cases) for isolation or for management of measles complications.

Percent of Age Group Hospitalized:

Under 5 years: 66% (37 of 56)
5-19 years: 35% (9 of 26)
20+ years: 61% (19 of 31)

7 – 14 days after a measles infection: first symptoms show

Measles isn’t just a little rash. Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children. Measles typically begins with

  • high fever (may spike to more than 104°),
  • cough,
  • runny nose (coryza), and
  • red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).

No cases of measles have been reported in Nevada at this time.

For more information about measles, vaccinations, severity of cases and many other diseases, visit the website.