Measles cases are on the rise in the U.S. and the health authorities are encouraging vaccinations. Doctors haven’t seen any cases of measles of late have been reminded to isolate the measles patients.
Measles is a highly infectious disease and the virulent phase starts 4 days before the onset of symptoms making it very difficult to quarantine. The number of measles patients has risen to the highest levels since 1996 and health officials are urging parents to get their kids vaccinated. Refresher courses are being arranged for health workers to recognize the symptoms of the disease.
According to CDC, till Thursday, 129 cases of measles have been reported across 13 states. The bulk of the cases have been reported in California and New York City.
The Fraser Valley has 416 confirmed cases of measles. However the incidence of new cases has since tapered and health authorities are confident enough to declare that the most intense phase of the epidemic are over.
In neighboring Canada the number of measles cases has been more than the US. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have all reported new cases of Measles.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S. assistant surgeon general and director of the U.S. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters that contrary to the past, Measles outbreaks have started earlier this year. American travelers returning from Philippinesaccount for half the imported cases. In Philippines a recent epidemic has caused 20000 illnesses of measles. Doctors are of the opinion that Measles cannot be stopped by borders but vaccination can surely stop the spread of measles.
The success of earlier vaccination campaigns have made it almost extinct in most of the developed world with many young doctors hardly having any experience on diagnosing it quickly and nipping its spread.
Dr. Julia Shaklee Sammons, an infectious disease specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia wrote, “As more parents decline to vaccinate their children, measles incidence is increasing — a fact that alarms me both as a hospital epidemiologist and as a parent of a vulnerable infant too young to receive the measles vaccine,”