The U.S. is currently experiencing a measles outbreak, which started in California and has spread to six additional states and Mexico. This is a great public health concern because of all infectious diseases, measles is one of the most contagious. It is estimated that 9 out of 10 people who do not have immunity against the disease and come into contact with an infected patient will develop measles. Therefore, the CDC is disseminating information to empower communities to raise awareness in their homes, workplaces, and places of faith.
While measles is considered a child’s disease, adults who are not immune to measles can catch and spread it.
Therefore, everyone should take precaution, especially if you are planning on traveling abroad or have small children at home.
There are some ways to know if you have immunity against measles, such as having written documentation that states you have received one or two doses of the vaccine or laboratory evidence of immunity. If you do not have documentation or are unsure, always consult with your trusted healthcare provider or doctor as each person’s health situation is unique.
The measles can be prevented with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The CDC recommends that if you were born during or after 1957 and do not have evidence of measles immunity, you should get at least one dose of the vaccine. Recommendations vary for children, students at higher education institutions, and international travelers.
Spreading the Word
Here are some bilingual resources you can use to help spread the word about the measles:
Measles: Questions and Answers (IAC, reviewed by CDC)
El Sarampión Puede Viajar (CDC Podcast)