Measles is on the rise in the United States and Kentuckians are urged to get vaccinated

Republished from WEKU.

Measles was declared eradicated in the US in 2000 when vaccination rates effectively eliminated the disease.

Doctor Steven Stack is the Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner. He said lowered vaccination rates over time are leading to increased cases.

Stack said the vaccine is so effective those with it will not get sick or transmit the virus. Those unvaccinated have higher risk of exposure, severe symptoms, and transmission.

“In the unvaccinated population pretty consistently more than 1 in 5 are hospitalized, 1 in 20 develop pneumonia which is the most common cause of death, the most common age of death is under 5, those are the individuals hurt the most by this disease if you’re unvaccinated, and for the really unlucky, 1 in 1000 can get a permanent brain injury from the brain swelling that I talked about.”

15 states have already reported cases of measles this year. Stack said when entire populations are unprotected and disease can spread freely, there are big problems on a large scale.

“Measles is probably the most contagious viral disease on planet earth, at present. The only thing that could maybe compete with it is COVID.”

The population most hurt by this disease are those unvaccinated under 5 years of age. Stack said if individuals get two doses of vaccine, they are protected for life. Dose one is most commonly recommended at one year of age and dose two between 4 and 6 years of age.

Stack urges Kentuckians who have not been vaccinated to get themselves and their children vaccinated.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.