Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

CDC monitoring measles cases in 21 states

CDC monitoring measles cases in 21 states

The CDC is keeping its eye on a measles outbreak that covers at least 21 states, including Indiana.

The majority of the individuals who were infected were unvaccinated, said the CDC, which urges everyone to get inoculated as soon as possible.

In 2014 the U.S experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases in 27 states.

"Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing", said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, interim health officer for Los Angeles County.

The first symptoms are flu-like, followed by a red, itchy rash all over the body.

Health officials warn we are on track for a more infectious year than usual, with cases cropping up from coast to coast. Three to five days later, a rash breaks out, usually as flat red spots on the face at the hairline. Within about 5 days, it fades in the order it appeared.

According to the CDC, some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia and brain swelling which could result in hospitalization or death.

"About 3 out of 100 people who get two doses of MMR vaccine will get measles if exposed to the virus", the agency notes. Children with measles must be kept out out school to limit the spread of the virus. Additionally, some doctors have never seen a case of measles in their lifetime.

However, outbreaks occur both in developed & underdeveloped countries, often because of unfounded fears and delays in vaccination.

What is the treatment for measles?

"The best protection against measles is MMR vaccine".

Anna Chacon is a dermatologist and part of the ABC News medical unit.

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