It’s official the CDC has confirmed a measles milestone. In a statement released on Wednesday, April 24th, the agency said that as of 3 p.m., it counted 695 cases of the illness this year. We’ve surpassed the highest number on record since the disease was declared eliminated nationwide in 2000. Previously, the highest number of reported cases since elimination was 667 in 2014.

The states reporting measles cases are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

The outbreak is affecting virtually every conceivable space where people eat, work, study and play! Some employers are even exploring the legalities of requiring that workers get the vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) or prove their immunity from the illness. More than 200 students and staff at L.A. universities are quarantined and some states, like New York and Washington, have declared public health related states of emergency due to the outbreak of this highly contagious disease.

Contributing Factor Unvaccinated Communities?

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, if someone comes into direct contact, or touches the same objects or surfaces that the infected person has touched.  The disease can live for up to two hours on surfaces!

Most cases in the United States have emerged in communities with low rates of vaccination against the virus, according to public health officials.

One official is quoted as saying, “Outbreaks of measles occur when measles gets into these communities of unvaccinated people – the only way to protect against measles is to get vaccinated.”

The CDC has also noted that some outbreaks are linked to travelers who were infected and brought measles back from other countries, including Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines.

The CDC referenced the ongoing outbreak in New York on Wednesday stating, “The longer these outbreaks continue, the greater the chance measles will again get a sustained foothold in the United States.”

In contrast to antivaxxers, many who believe the vaccine causes autism and poses other high risks, experts recommend that children receive the vaccine in two doses: first between 12 months and 15 months of age and a second between 4- and 6-years-old.

The CDC does admit that as with any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of reactions, but these are usually mild and go away on their own. There is a “remote chance” of side effects and even serious injuries but the benefits outweigh the risks.

Better to Be Safe: Testing for Measles

It’s a simple blood test for MMR Meter Testing, and in just 3 – 5 business days, Any Lab Test Now can let you know your status.  According to the CDC, if one person is infected, 90% of the people who are not immune around them will become infected – it’s so easy to be proactive and safe.

Measles Symptoms

  • The measles causes symptoms that include a fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, and a rash that begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
  • The virus can lead to pneumonia, croup, diarrhea or swelling of the brain (encephalitis) which could cause seizures and brain damage.
  • Symptoms generally appear 7 to 14 days after a person has been infected.
  • A person with the measles is contagious 4 days before the rash appears, and up to 4 days after the rash appears. Because of this long quarantine period, those who believe their rash is “almost gone” perceive they are not contagious and may integrate back into their community, exposing others.

A measles infection in pregnant women can be passed from the mother to the baby and could cause premature birth or spontaneous abortions.  While this is rare in areas where early childhood vaccination is practiced, it is important to know that living in communities with high concentrations of unvaccinated individuals poses some risk.

Contact an Any Lab Test Now store near you today to get your MMR Meter Testing.