As Measles Cases Rise—Is Your Child at Risk?
With all eyes on COVID, measles has been flying under the radar. But alarming new facts suggest that we are ignoring a wolf at the door.
Around the world, measles deaths hit a shocking 23-year peak in 2019. And US babies have not been spared. In 2019, US doctors have reported a record-shattering 1,282 cases. That’s the most in 30 years! (To put it in perspective, our kids suffered 20 times more measles than the 55 reportedly stricken in 2012).
Fortunately, no recent measles deaths have been reported in the US. But, doctors are worried that our luck might soon run out. That’s because measles can often cause serious inflammation of the lungs or brain…and even be deadly.
And, another major fear keeping doctors up at night is the downward spiral of parents protecting their families and communities. While measles cases have skyrocketed, the number of kids getting vaccinated has flat-lined.
Getting the measles shot doesn’t just protect your child, it helps keep all kids healthy. That’s because measles is incredibly contagious! One sick kid can spread it to 12 to 18 others, and 90% of unvaccinated people who are exposed to measles end up getting sick. In short, measles is one of the most contagious diseases known to mankind! Plus, it often takes months for the immune system to recover and—during those months—kids are sitting ducks for other serious diseases.
The good news is that even though measles is super-infectious, it’s also super-preventable! The measles vaccine has been used on hundreds of millions of kids for over 50 years! It’s completely safe, accessible, and affordable and has saved more than 23 million children since 2000. Talk about pro-life!
Kids get the measles vaccine as part of their MMR shot (which also protects against mumps and rubella—aka German measles). They get their first dose around 15 months (12 months or less if there is a local outbreak) and their second between 4 and 6 years.
In 2020, measles cases have been down so far…but experts warn that those numbers might be off, thanks to coronavirus. That’s because COVID has made parents skip routine health visits—including those oh-so essential shots. In fact, currently, 94 million people are at risk for missing their measles vaccine this year! That means, the scene is being set for a potential explosion of measles all across America!
If you’ve been putting off vaccine visits due to COVID concerns, the good news is that your doctors may have a few tricks to help you catch up without catching COVID. For example, many will come to your car to give the vaccines…with little to no waiting. And others offer special office hours just for healthy kids to come in for a very quick immunization.
Bottom line: Of course, keep your guards up about COVID, but don’t be so focused on one problem that is hard to prevent, that you forget about some other serious problems that are super easy to stop.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.