Demand for measles blood tests increase amid national outbreak

228 cases of measles have now been confirmed in 12 states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

228 cases of measles have now been confirmed in 12 states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The number of measles cases in the US is now at the highest level since the deadly disease was declared to be eliminated in the nation in 2000, according to a report released Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There were 17 measles outbreaks in 2018, but most of the cases were from outbreaks in New York state, New York City, and New Jersey - mainly among unvaccinated members of Orthodox Jewish communities, the CDC said. April 2019 will end with more than 700 confirmed cases across 22 states, according to the CDC.

The states with the highest number of outbreaks are Washington and NY, and PBS reported that on Friday two colleges in Los Angeles quarantined more than 1,000 students and staff members, sending them home or keeping them in their campus quarters until after the incubation period, which is typically 10 to 12 days.

"We have more and more people who are choosing not to vaccinate themselves or their children, and that is putting not only themselves at risk but everyone else at risk, particularly the young and those who are medically vulnerable", Conaway told NJ Advance Media.

"We are very concerned about the recent troubling rise in cases of measles", Azar said in a briefing with reporters.

Since few people born in the 1960s likely have their vaccination records handy, many may be uncertain as to whether they got the ineffective vaccine or were later vaccinated with the newer version.

"Vaccine preventable diseases belong in the history books, not in our emergency rooms", Azar said. The New York outbreaks - in Brooklyn and in Rockland County, north of Manhattan - account for 67% of the national total so far in 2019.

The virus is prevented with the MMR vaccine, which also protects against mumps (a viral infection that affects the salivary glands) and rubella (a viral infection identified by a distinctive red rash).

It's important to know that the majority of people who have contracted the measles have not been vaccinated, according to the CDC, and that the disease can spread when it reaches a community where groups of people aren't vaccinated.

Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

"There is no treatment or cure for measles, and there is no way to predict how bad a case of measles will be", CDC Director Robert Redfield tweeted Monday.

No deaths have been reported but 66 patients were hospitalized.

"There's no downside to getting a dose of measles vaccine", says William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an infectious disease and vaccine expert.

US health officials on Monday updated the national tally.

"After just one dose of MMR vaccine about 95 per cent of people will be protected from measles, and 99 per cent of people who have had both MMR doses will be protected from measles". "A single dose of measles vaccine protects about 95 percent of children, but after two doses, nearly 100 percent are immune", Michigan's health department said in a press release.

The Atlanta-based public health institution recommends two doses of the measles vaccine, citing one dosage blocks the virus by 93 percent.

Last week, President Trump urged Americans to get vaccinated, changing course from remarks he made in 2014 when he voiced doubt about giving children government-recommended doses of vaccines.

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