Posted by Deborah Pujoue on May 2, 2012
A decade ago, the measles was considered a disease of the past. But now that diagnoses of the condition have surged in the U.S., there is much cause to believe that the measles are back with a vengeance. Americans have reported as many as 222 cases last year, according to the CDC. This surge is attributed to travelers who are believed to be bringing the virus into the country from various locales.
In 2011, residents of 31 states were diagnosed with the measles. Most of the people who got the measles haven’t been vaccinated against it. Chances are people didn’t get the vaccination because it was believed that the vaccine wasn’t needed anymore since the disease had been deemed to be eliminated by the CDC in 2000. That lack of vaccinations, coupled with the virus being declared eliminated, has caused a resurgence of the condition.
Countries where the measles are still active include France, Italy, Romania, Spain and Germany. According to the CDC, the number of cases of the measles in the U.S. is more than three times what is normal over the last 10 years.
“Unvaccinated people put themselves and others at risk for measles and its complications” since it remains widespread in most parts of the world, said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a conference call with reporters. “They particularly put at risk people who are too young to be vaccinated who can sometimes have the worst complications.”
I have never had the measles before, but it is still included in routine vaccinations where I live. This new information just goes to show that when it comes to viruses, you can never go wrong getting a vaccine. This is especially true if the viruses are still rampant in other parts of the world. Clearly travelling can play a huge role in what viruses become a problem in the U.S. If you don’t believe me, remember SARS (Asia) and H1N1 (Mexico) — both of which were brought to the U.S. from other countries.