A plea for measles vaccinations before spring travel

Written by

Measles boy sideviewLeaving the country for spring break?

If so, California health officials are urging you to get vaccinated for measles, if you haven’t already.

More than 150 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with measles in the past couple of months, including at least 113 in California. Most of those cases are linked to an outbreak that started at Disneyland in December

The California Department of Public Health says that with spring school holidays coming, many people will be traveling abroad – some to countries where measles is rampant. The concern is that those people will return with the virus and cause a new outbreak. Most of those who have been sickened here were unvaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control says the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination is 97 percent effective at preventing the disease if someone is exposed to a sick person.

pointing to the Philippines. State officials say the measles virus here shares the same genetic material as the type most commonly found in the Philippines. But officials still don’t know who brought it into the U.S.

Measles was almost entirely eradicated in the U.S. by the turn of the 21st Century, but that’s quickly turned around. More people in this country were diagnosed with measles last year than at any time in the past two decades.