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Measles In CT: What You Need To Know
Earlier this month, officials from the Connecticut Department of Public Health (D.P.H.) reported a third confirmed case of the measles in Connecticut that was determined to be unrelated to the first two illnesses reported back in January. Health officials confirmed the most recent case involved an adult in New Haven County who had recently visited Brooklyn, New York- an area currently experiencing an ongoing measles outbreak.
The growing number of measles cases in Connecticut is concerning for state health officials and has heightened fears that an outbreak could be in our state’s future by the end of the year if residents are not cautious. To help reduce the spread of the measles in our communities, all Connecticut residents should be educated on the virus and how to protect themselves from contracting it. By spreading awareness, you can help keep you, your family, and your neighbors safe from this unnecessary and harmful disease.
Facts To Know About The Measles
According to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.), the number of affirmed measles cases in our nation for the initial three months of 2019 has just exceeded the whole number of cases in 2018. There are a lot of myths and stories circulating about the measles right now which do not help prevent the spread of this dangerous virus. Here are the essential facts to know about the measles to keep your loved one safe:
What Is The Measles: Measles is a highly infectious illness caused by the rubeola virus, a strain affecting the lungs and breathing tubes leading to several uncomfortable and possibly life-threatening consequences.
Who Is At Risk: Children younger than 5-years-old and adults older than 20 years of age are most at risk from measles complications. Pregnant women and individuals with compromised immune systems are also at risk.
How Does It Spread: The transmission of the measles is primarily person to person via large respiratory droplets. It is most commonly spread by coughing and sneezing. It can live up to two hours in the air. Most of the recent measles outbreaks in the United States were the result of travelers bringing the disease home with them from overseas. The virus has spread quickly through unvaccinated populations within the travelers’ communities.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms: Measles symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after a person is exposed to the virus. Signs and symptoms of measles typically include:
- Body aches
- Dry cough
- Ear infection
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Watery eyes
- Koplik’s spots- tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek
The reddish-brown rash appears around 3 to 4 days after initial symptoms. The rash usually begins behind the ears and spreads over the head and neck. Following two or three days, it spreads to the remainder of the body, including the legs. As the spots develop, they start to combine.
What Are The Health Consequences: In addition to uncomfortable symptoms, the measles can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling in the brain), convulsions, deafness, intellectual disabilities, central nervous system disorders, or even death.
How To Prevent The Measles
The only way to fully protect yourself from contracting the measles virus is through the MMR immunization. The MMR vaccine provides safeguard against the measles, mumps, and rubella and is exceptionally effective. According to the C.D.C., one dose is about 93 percent effective at preventing the contagious disease if you come into contact with the virus, and two doses are about 97 percent effective. It is recommended that children receive the vaccine in two doses: the first between the ages of 12 months and 15 months and the second between the ages of 4 and 6 years old.
The resurgence of measles in the United States is spurring a backlash against vaccine critics and even sparking congressional hearings investigating the spread of vaccine misinformation. In some areas of New York with dense populations of unvaccinated individuals, city and state officials are taking extreme measures to protect the public by banning people who have not been immunized from specific public settings (such as schools) to help contain the virus from spreading further.
It’s important to note we are not advocating for either side of the vaccine issue. While we believe it is the right of every parent and individuals to decide if they will vaccinate their children and themselves, we also believe in the power of spreading awareness to help those who are looking for more information on the issues make a formulated and educated decision.
Connecticut Safety Advocates and Personal Injury Attorneys
At the law firm of Jacobs & Wallace, we have been advocating for the health and safety of Connecticut residents for over 40 years. If you or a loved has sustained an unnecessary illness due to negligence, contact us for a free consultation to review your case and your rights today.