Measles Outbreak: What You Should Know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,109 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 28 states since the beginning of 2019, an increase of 737 cases from 2018.* On January 28, 2919, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that it has confirmed a case of measles in a New Haven County adult, the first confirmed case this year in the state.**
The CDC reports:
- The majority of people who contracted measles were not vaccinated
- About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized
- 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage
- 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care
Measles symptoms usually start with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat and followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is a highly contagious, preventable disease that spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing.
Measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than five years old. There is no way to tell in advance the severity of the symptoms your child will experience.
Before walking into an urgent care center, ER or a doctor’s office, contact them first to describe your symptoms so that they can tell you what to do next if you think you may have the measles. Special arrangements can be made to evaluate you, if needed, without putting other patients and medical staff at risk.
The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which provides long-lasting protection against all strains. Your primary care provider can administer the appropriate vaccine for your family. If you do not have a primary care provider, contact New England Primary Care at 860 744-2244.