MEASLES CASES ON THE RISE ACROSS US; LOCAL DOCTOR SHARES ADVICE

Ch. 6 - May 2, 2024 5:55 am

Measles cases are on the rise across the country. Health experts said, however, said there aren’t any confirmed cases in Oklahoma yet.

The CDC said this year there have been about 125 reported cases of measles in the U.S.

While Oklahoma has avoided cases of the virus so far, there are cases nearby in Missouri. Pediatrician Macey Hale at the Utica Park Clinic in Claremore said the virus could make its way to our state at any time.

Doctors said the virus spreads easily and can even linger in the air for up to two hours. Some symptoms include fever, cough, and a rash all over the body.

With summer break on the horizon and people expected to travel, Dr. Hale recommends checking to see if there might be cases where you plan on going so you can keep yourself safe.

“If any families are planning trips this summer, I would just encourage them to first look on the CDC website and see if where you are traveling to may have reported cases in that area. Then I would also talk with your child’s primary care provider and also your own as an adult just about your vaccination status,” Hale said.

Dr. Hale said that increase in cases could potentially be partially due to international travelers who are unvaccinated coming to the U.S., or people opting out of the vaccine for their kids.

Dr. Hale said the best way to protect yourself is making sure you’re up to date on your measles vaccines.

“We know that even one dose of the measles vaccine is up to 93% effective in preventing the illness, and two doses is up to 97% effective. Typically, the first dose is given around one year of age, and the second dose is around four years of age,” Dr. Hale said.

If you’ve opted out of the measles vaccine, you’re encouraged to practice frequent handwashing and covering your mouth if you cough or sneeze to prevent any potential spread of measles.

 

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