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Measles Cases Reach 20-year High

Needle and bottle

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first five months of 2014 (January 1 – May 23) saw 288 cases of measles in 18 states and a total of 15 outbreaks — the highest number of cases in twenty years. Because the majority of these cases have been “associated with international travel by unvaccinated people”, the CDC’s concern is that those persons intending to travel internationally be sure that their vaccinations are up to date.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus and spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. With the rise in cases, it is more important than ever to be familiar with the signs and symptoms. Often, it begins with a fever and soon a cough, runny nose, and red eyes develop. A rash of tiny red spots breaks out beginning at the head and soon spreads to the rest of the body. This disease is incredibly serious for children as it can often lead to a number of other complications, such as pneumonia or encephalitis and in some cases, even death.

Until recently, cases of measles in the United States have not been very common due to vaccination. However, measles is still common in many other countries so it is important to make sure that everyone in your family is vaccinated before travel. In particular, the CDC has issued a travel notice about measles in Philippines.

For more information about measles, vaccinations, and travel visit these pages from the CDC:

Measles Overview

Measles in the Philippines – Travel Notice

CDC Features – Measles Immunization

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