Public Health Dept. Urge Vaccination Before Int'l Travel

First Maine measles case in two years recorded in Somerset County

As the United States deals with its most severe measles outbreak in a quarter-century, officials at one of the nation's busiest airports said Thursday travelers there may have been exposed to the disease this month.

Another factor contributing to the outbreaks was the failing system of vaccination both domestically as well as globally, fueled partially by a growing anti-vaccine movement, whose supporters believe the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine causes autism and other health complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in April that the number of US measles cases through the first three months of this year has surpassed the count for all of 2018. Therefore, for those travelling internationally with a baby older than 6 months but younger than 12 months, the CDC recommends that the baby receive an early dose of MMR vaccine.

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Mumps cases almost tripled to 795 compared to the 275 during the same period previous year, with no new cases of rubella reported. Stay home and away from other people, exclude yourself from any group or public setting until your doctor tells you if you have measles or not. As measles is highly infectious, anyone who has not received 2 doses of MMR vaccine is at risk, particularly unvaccinated people travelling to countries where there are now large outbreaks of measles.

According to PHE, to achieve full herd immunity for measles, at least 90 to 95 per cent of the population needs to be fully protected. According to the spokesperson, an outbreak of geographically related measles cases is not considered to have ended until 42 days-two consecutive 21-day incubation periods-have passed without any new cases.

"The vaccine was an enormous catapult for improving the health of children and young people and still is".

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"The overwhelming majority of Americans who get two doses of the measles vaccine are protected for life and do not need a booster", says says Dr. Travis Stork, an ER physician, host of The Doctors and a member of PEOPLE's Health Squad. As per United States media reports, the officials asked eight people suffering from measles to cancel their flights.

Measles is especially unsafe for children who can develop pneumonia, intellectual disabilities, or go deaf if they contract the disease. Find more info on reported outbreaks here. Mumps cases tend to increase every 3 years in environments with close mixing such as festivals and universities.

If you have any questions regarding adult vaccination or if you should receive a MMR booster, contact your Primary Care Provider.

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