California health authorities raise concerns as Measles cases surge again in state

Visual Representation for measles virus
Visual Representation for measles virus

United States: The health authorities of California have once again sounded alarms as the number of Measles cases is on the rise, once again. The possible reason behind the re-emergence of the contagious disease in California is more traveling by unvaccinated people to the regions where the disease is common.

The details about the same were shared and explained by the epidemiologist of California state, Dr Erica Pan, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Measles and its roots in the United States!

Following several outbreaks, the United States declared the elimination of the disease in the year 2000. But in the last decade, the nation has been dealing with several large outbreaks as the vaccination rate witnessed a decline – one of the prominent outbreaks was reported in 2014 in Disneyland, which reported approximately 125 cases.

While briefing about the Measles cases in California, the local health authorities mentioned that the state recorded a significant number of cases – 72 in the year 2019. The official state data further revealed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the state did not report any measles cases in 2021 and 2022, and then in 2023, four cases were confirmed. And during the first week of February 2024, the state reported two (2) cases, which was followed by one (1) in San Diego and one (1) in Los Angeles.

While addressing a monthly public health briefing with the California Medical Association, health expert Pan said, “Now we’re slowly starting to see increases again as we see more traveling, and sadly, less vaccination globally and in pockets in the US,” as per San Francisco Chronicle.

Representation for vaccine against MMR | Credits: Getty Images

In addition to this, the health experts have highlighted that the majority of the recent cases were because of missed MMR doses.

Details about measles cases in 2024 in the US

According to the details shared by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of late January 2024, the nation reported 23 cases – out of which seven (7) measles cases were of “direct importations” by international travelers. The cases were also from two outbreaks.

In addition to this, the health agency emphasized that the majority of the cases were among children and adolescents who did not receive the vaccination.

While explaining the same, the CDC alerted, “Measles cases often originate from unvaccinated or under-vaccinated US residents who travel internationally and then transmit the disease to people who are not vaccinated against measles.”

It further mentioned, “The increased number of measles importations seen in recent weeks is reflective of a rise in global measles cases and a growing global threat from the disease.”

Representation for rash caused by measles

The same concern was addressed by Pan, who stated, “I really want clinicians to be thinking about measles and reminding people measles can be serious.”

The state public health department has briefed about common symptoms and signs shown by an individual suffering from the contagious disease. An individual dealing with the disease typically begins with a fever and then experiences a cough, runny nose, red eyes, and rashes.

The CDC has revealed that the disease can become a serious concern for an individual. Approximately one in five unvaccinated people with measles have been admitted to hospitals, and one out of 1,000 children have experienced swelling in the brain.

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