Measles Outbreak: How to Protect Yourself and Your Family Against the Virus
Measles is a virus that invades the throat and nose leading to a fever, cough, and then phlegm, which happens to be one of the worst in the whole world!
Our country’s history with the measles has always been one of learning from experience. According to a recent article from the New York Times, today lawmakers and even social media platforms are playing a role in how we’re fighting the often deadly disease.
As of March 7, 2019, the CDC has reported 228 cases of measles across California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, and our home state — Texas.
What Can You Do To Stay Protected?
First, know that measles occurs for two primary reasons. The first being an increase in those traveling to and from the U.S. Secondly, when a community has a population of unvaccinated people, that community is more likely to contract the disease.
When we saw an outbreak of measles in 2018, we learned that the outbreak was associated with travelers carrying the disease. It was reported that 82 people brought measles into the U.S. from other countries. That was the highest number imported since 2000. Moreover, in 2017, we learned that a large outbreak in Minnesota was in a community with poor vaccination coverage. Just to put this information in perspective, in 2017, 110,000 people died from measles across the world.
Knowing what we do to date, there are real and practical steps you can take to protect yourself and the rest of your family.
It starts with getting vaccinated.
There is no shortage of the measles vaccination but there could be a lack of access, depending on where you live and your healthcare plan. The MMR vaccine protects against three deadly diseases: the measles, rubella, and the mumps. It is recommended that children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine; the first within the 12 through 15 months of age and the second at 4 through 6 years of age, according to the CDC.
Since the start of the measles program in 1963, the MMR vaccine has reduced measles by more than 99% compared to years before the program.
What If I’m an Adult Who Never Got the Vaccine?
Most adults born before 1957 are immune to the measles and mumps. If you never received the vaccine and are worried about contracting the disease, you should consult with your doctor. He or she will be able to recommend whether you need the vaccine. A couple of candidates for the vaccine include:
- Those who reside in an area where the outbreak of measles or mumps has taken place.
- Travel internationally frequently
- Work in health care
- Are attending or plan to attend college.
How Does Social Media and Lawmakers Come Into Play?
Large social media websites have made it their priority to address any misinformation on vaccines. YouTube has prohibited anti-vaccine channels from running ads on Facebook and other pages where a YouTube ad would be utilized. Pinterest has completely restricted vaccine research results on its platform. The steps these companies have taken is an example of their commitment to helping reduce the spreading of misinformation on anti-vaccines, which has been a recent topic for lawmakers.
The lack of access to vaccines is one factor that contributes to outbreaks. Many are calling for lawmakers to do more about access and to put a law in place that makes vaccines mandatory, which is controversial to certain communities and beliefs.
Country Club Urgent Care is Here to Provide You With Medical Facts
Our mission here at Country Club Urgent Care is to inform you of the ways in which you can protect yourself and your family. As an emergency medical center, we can thoroughly examine your condition and determine the best course of action. If you or someone you know is in need of emergency medical services, please contact us today.