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Several States Experiencing a Measles Outbreak

Several states are experiencing measles outbreaks. From January 1st to February 7th, 101 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 10 states. In a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons: an increase in the number of travelers who get measles abroad and bring it into the U.S., and/or further spread of measles in U.S. communities with pockets of un-vaccinated people. Generally, preschool children, adolescents, young adults and inadequately immunized individuals comprise the majority of measles cases in the United States. There is no specific treatment for measles. 

Other states that have reported cases to the Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey, Oregon and Texas. The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age. Generally, the best way to protect yourself is by immunization. Public health officials recommend un-vaccinated individuals one year and older receive a measles vaccination to protect themselves and those around them. Children should receive their first dose of measles vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age; and another dose at four to six years of age.

Measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine is generally first given at 12 months of age in the United States, but is sometimes recommended for children as young as six months of age who are traveling outside the United States or could be infected in an outbreak. For more information on measles, visit cdc.gov and search measles.