Born before 1989? Experts say you may need a measles booster shot

A child receives a measles vaccination

A child receives a measles vaccination Credit Sascha Steinbach Rex

In 2019 so far in the USA there have been 704 confirmed cases of measles, almost double the number of cases in the whole of 2018, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unvaccinated travelers are bringing the cases back to the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now reporting 704 cases of measles in 22 states. All of the California case originated overseas, she added, urging global travelers to confirm their immunization status before they go abroad. Medical experts say that Koplik spots are actually a way to contain measles outbreaks because they appear days before a much more noticeable rash. However, a very small fraction of people can suffer complications like pneumonia and swelling of the brain.

Most cases occurred in 13 outbreak zones, including in New York City's orthodox Jewish communities.

Adults who are going to be in a setting that "poses a high risk for measles transmission" should make sure they have had two doses separated by at least 28 days, which includes students at post-high school education institutions, health care personnel and global travelers, the CDC says.

"When you get communities that have an outbreak and people are getting ill, that helps people understand the need for the vaccine", Giorgio said.

Health officials say current measles outbreaks in the US are fueled by the anti-vaccination movement, which questions the safety of vaccines and frequently spreads false information on social media. The Ministry of Health recently highlighted that since 2012, all cases of measles in New Zealand came from travellers bringing the disease from overseas and that there are now significant measles outbreaks in many countries. The disease has spread quickly among unvaccinated children.

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The study, published last month in the medical journal JAMA, said that "responding to a single case of measles can be as high as $142,000".

Measles spreads through droplets in the air, which can linger for up to two hours after someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. "They have to get the shots", Trump told CNN on Friday, also saying, "This is really going around now", in reference to measles.

Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, said she will request a hearing on the vaccine legislation in May or June.

To add to that, there are still many places in the world where the measles is still common. "If you do not have written documentation of MMR vaccine, you should get vaccinated", the CDC states on its website.

Children aren't the only individuals at risk if not fully immunized against the highly contagious disease. In 1968, a more effective vaccine was developed by Maurice Hilleman and colleagues, and this is the same measles vaccine (combined with a mumps and rubella vaccine) used in the US today.

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But for those who haven't vaccinated their children, it's time to think about the welfare of immunocompromised, frail, and the rare person without the same immunity as the rest of us. Now, some are questioning whether they are properly vaccinated and whether they are still at risk for getting measles. Officials said they are especially concerned with a community in Monmouth County, where official believe an infected person may have exposed multiple people over the course of a few days.

In the Telford & Wrekin area, Public Health England figures show that between April 2010 and December 2018, 709 children had not received their first vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella by the age of five.Two jabs are required by the age of five to provide full immunity, and a further 930 children did not receive the second jab.

The Atlanta-based public health institution recommends two doses of the measles vaccine, citing one dosage blocks the virus by 93 percent. The CDC says, if an adult received the recommended two doses as a child, he or she doesn't need a booster shot.

Anyone who does not know their vaccine status should speak to their health care provider.

Ellen said Wilson County has a high vaccination rate compared to other counties.

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