Measles (Rubeola) (cont.)
Edmond Hooker, MD, DrPH
Dr. Eddie Hooker is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville and at Wright State University. His areas of expertise include emergency medicine, epidemiology, health-services management, and public health.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Measles facts
- What is measles?
- What is rubeola?
- What is rubella?
- What are other names for measles?
- What is the history of measles?
- What causes measles?
- How is measles spread?
- How does one become immune to measles?
- Who is at risk for getting measles?
- Is measles deadly?
- What is the danger of getting measles while pregnant?
- If I am exposed, how long does it take to develop symptoms and signs?
- What are measles symptoms and signs?
- What complications are seen with measles?
- What is atypical measles?
- What is modified measles?
- How is the diagnosis of measles made?
- If it is not measles, what else could it be?
- What should I do if I have been exposed to measles?
- Is there any treatment for measles after symptoms and signs develop?
- If measles only rarely occurs in the United States, why should I get vaccinated?
- Do I need to be revaccinated against measles if I am traveling to Europe?
- What is the prognosis for measles?
- How can I prevent contracting measles?
- Is there any truth to the fear of getting autism from vaccines?
- Who should not receive measles vaccinations?
- If a child has an egg allergy, can they still receive the measles vaccine?
- What adverse reactions can occur with the measles vaccination?
- Who should be revaccinated against measles?
- Where can I find more information about measles?
If measles only rarely occurs in the United States, why should I get vaccinated?
Although measles only rarely occurs in the United States, it still does occur and can be fatal. In the year 2000, almost 1 million children died of the disease. Through a very intensive effort by the World Health Organization, the number of deaths was decreased to only 139,300 in 2010.
When the number of vaccinated individuals starts to decrease, the disease starts to occur more frequently. This occurred from 1989 until 1991 in the U.S. During that period, there were 55,000 cases and 123 deaths from measles in the U.S. Due to a massive public-health effort, almost all children in the U.S. now receive measles vaccine before they are allowed to enter school. The number of cases of measles in the U.S. dropped to only 37 in 2004.
However, because of more people not being vaccinated, in 2011, the number of cases grew to 222. Fortunately, there were no deaths among those 222. Most cases are now from outside the U.S. The cases come from three common sources: infants being adopted from China, U.S. travelers being exposed while out of the country (now most commonly from European travel), and from foreign travelers visiting the U.S. A recent small outbreak was caused when a fan at Super Bowl 2012 exposed fans to the disease. At least two people contracted the disease from this exposure.
Do I need to be revaccinated against measles if I am traveling to Europe?
Europe is currently experiencing an epidemic of measles. In 2011, there were over 26,000 cases of measles and nine deaths. This is likely due to poor rates of vaccinations in many European countries. U.S. travelers should make sure that they have received at least two vaccinations against measles (MMR).
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