On Monday, June 10, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 1022 cases of measles had been confirmed across 28 states from January 1 through June 6, including 41 new cases confirmed from May 31 to June 6. The cause of the outbreak - the worst since 1992 - has been attributed to the spread of misinformation about vaccines.
Further spread of the outbreak is to be expected over the coming weeks.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects children and, in severe cases, can cause pneumonia, swelling of the brain, and death. Symptoms of measles include a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks may develop in the initial stages, followed by a rash on the face and upper neck that spreads to the hands and feet. The rash typically lasts about five to six days. A vaccine is available and effective.
Individuals in or planning travel to the US are advised to ensure their vaccinations are up to date and contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the abovementioned symptoms is urged to seek immediate medical attention.
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