Health officials recommend measles vaccination following outbreak in the United States

Since the beginning of 2024, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed nine cases of measles.

Cases of the virus were reported in Missouri, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

In late January, another case was confirmed by the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Ohio Department of Health, and CDC. This confirmation came after an Ohio man, who was infected, traveled through the Northern Kentucky International Airport.

According to Autumn Grim, the Director of Cape Girardeau County Public Health and an epidemiologist, the measles virus is highly contagious, but it can be easily prevented.

According to Grim, the vaccine they have is highly effective and one of the most effective vaccines available.


According to the CDC, the measles vaccine has been in use since 1963, effectively reducing the number of annual measles-related deaths. Before the vaccine was introduced, measles claimed the lives of hundreds of people every year.

The MMR vaccine is a standard immunization for children, administered in two doses before the age of six, providing protection against measles, mumps, and rubella.

If you haven’t received this vaccine before, adults can also get vaccinated.

The MMRV vaccine is designed to protect children 12 and under from four illnesses, including chicken pox. It combines the protection provided by the MMR vaccine with an added layer of defense against chicken pox.

You can receive the measles vaccine from various sources, including primary care doctors, pharmacies, and county health departments. The vaccine is administered in two doses, with a 28-day gap between each dose.

Measles, a disease that was thought to have been eradicated at the turn of the century, is now making a surprising comeback in 2024. Despite previous small outbreaks occurring during this time period, the re-emergence of measles is concerning.

The World Health Organization states that a disease is considered eradicated when there are no new cases reported.

According to Grim, the resurgence of measles can be attributed in part to the low vaccination rates among children.

According to Grim, the lower vaccination rates are playing a significant role in driving the increase in cases of vaccine-preventable diseases. He expressed his surprise at witnessing this situation, stating, “It’s not something that we thought we would see.” However, given the current circumstances, Grim anticipates that there will be more cases of these diseases in the future.

The MMR vaccine has undergone extensive research and has earned widespread trust over the course of many years. When administered in both doses, it is estimated to be 97 percent effective in preventing measles.

“No one needs to contract measles,” Grim emphasized, “as it is entirely preventable.”

If you have received the vaccine, there is no need to be concerned about this outbreak, according to officials.

People should ensure that they check their vaccine records, as well as their children’s vaccine records, to confirm that both doses of the MMR vaccine or MMRV vaccine have been administered at some point.

If you are worried that this might not be the situation, it is important to reach out to your healthcare provider.

If someone gets infected, they may experience symptoms like a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.

Before a red rash spreads to the body, small white spots may first appear on the inside of the mouth and then on the skin of the face.

If you suspect that you have measles, it is important to call ahead before visiting the doctor or emergency room. This precautionary measure is necessary because the measles virus is highly contagious and can spread through the air. By notifying healthcare professionals in advance, they can take appropriate steps to prevent further transmission and provide you with the necessary care.

According to Grim, individuals will be required to take specific precautions to ensure that they do not put others at risk while waiting.

Insurance companies typically provide coverage for preventive vaccines, ensuring that individuals have access to the necessary immunizations. However, for those without insurance, there is still an option available to receive certain vaccines for free. These individuals can reach out to their local health department, which offers these vaccines without any cost.

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