CDC urges vaccination due to rising measles cases in health alert

Health officials are on high alert as measles outbreaks have been reported in multiple states in the U.S. and cases are rising globally. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert on March 18 to draw attention to the global spread of measles ahead of the spring and summer travel season. The CDC advised families traveling abroad with infants as young as 6 months to get their child vaccinated against measles ahead of the routine immunization schedule.

The American Medical Association (AMA) echoed the CDC's warning, emphasizing the importance of vaccination to prevent the spread of measles. The AMA president, Dr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, highlighted the dangers of not being vaccinated against infectious diseases like measles and urged individuals to get vaccinated prior to travel if they are not already immune.

The CDC warning noted that as many as 36 states in the U.S. have low childhood vaccination rates, putting approximately 250,000 kindergartners at risk for measles infection annually. The gap in vaccination coverage has raised concerns about the decline of population immunity in the U.S. if childhood vaccine rates do not improve.

Measles, which had been declared eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, has resurfaced due to low vaccination rates. While vaccinated individuals are unlikely to contract measles, unvaccinated people and high-risk groups such as children too young to be vaccinated, cancer patients, and immunocompromised individuals are at risk for infection and severe illness.

Health officials are urging vaccination against measles to prevent further outbreaks and protect public health. The CDC and AMA are reminding doctors to educate patients about the importance of vaccination and to make strong recommendations for following immunization schedules. Maintaining high vaccination rates is crucial to prevent the resurgence of measles and protect vulnerable populations from the disease.


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