With U.S. measles cases on the rise, Lexington Health Department stressing importance of vaccinations

Originally published by WEKU.

A recent uptick in measles cases around the country has some Kentucky medical professionals worried. According to the CDC, just 58 cases of measles were reported in the U.S. last year – but there’ve been 23 from last December through January 23rd . Lindsey Todd, the Lexington Health Department’s Director of Nursing, said the two-dose MMR vaccination is the best way to avoid the highly contagious and potentially deadly disease.

“This specific vaccine is 96% effective if you if you receive both doses. And most of, if not all of the cases that you’ll see of measles that CDC the reports are in unvaccinated children.”

Todd said measles can bring a lot more than a rash.

“It can cause brain swelling, it can cause pneumonia and can cause severe dehydration from diarrhea. So it is a serious illness and you should be vaccinated against it because the vaccine is very effective, it’s safe.”

Todd says measles symptoms include a cough, congestion, fever and a rash that begins on the face or head and extends down through the body. MMR vaccinations are required for Kentucky public school students, but Todd says religious and health exemptions mean only about 90 percent of Kentucky kids get them.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.