There is an outbreak of measles in New York City. It is reported that there are 16 cases of confirmed measles including four hospitalizations. According to Today the outbreak may be linked to the Philippines. Health Officials are recommending the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible. The measles is one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases.
The measles is a contagious disease that is often characterized by rashes on the face and the body. According to Fraser Health measles symptoms include: fever, cough, inflammation of the eyes, and runny nose. These symptoms are then preceded by a rash that begins at the face and neck and continues spreading to the arms and rest of the body. The measles last a minimum of three days, during which complications may arise. Today reports that 1 in 3 cases lead to complications. These may include pneumonia, brain damage, blindness, and deafness. The most dangerous being brain inflammation, which occurs in 1 in 1,000 cases. Fraser Health also reports that 1 in 3,000 cases of the measles are fatal. Those that have not been vaccinated against the measles suffer a 90 percent chance of infection. Children under the age of 1 and pregnant women are the most susceptible to the disease, given their lowered immune systems. Officials say that 2 of the infected children where too young to be vaccinated while another 2 were not vaccinated due to the parent’s choice to opt out. The measles is easily spread through the air by an infected persons breath, sneeze and cough. The measles survive in the air for several hours. An infected person may develop symptoms within 4 hours of contact.
Today has reported that the people infected with the measles in New York have been from Manhattan and the Bronx. It is believed the outbreak began in the Philippines where more than 1,163 people where reported with the infection in January. Health officials have tracked a total of 54 reported cases of measles this year, 10 of cases coming from people that traveled to other countries, and 32 of the cases come from people who have been infected by travelers or where unaware of their infection and cannot pinpoint the origin of infection. NBC News also reports that 18 of the 54 reported imported cases where unvaccinated US residents who traveled abroad. Health officials in Canada are also urging the public to get vaccinated after it was reported that an unimmunized primary school student had contracted the measles after a trip to the Philippines.
New York is not the only state with a measles outbreak. California has also reported a measles outbreak, with at least 15 people diagnosed since the beginning of the year. According to Today it began in San Francisco, with an infected university student using the public transportation system. The same person was shown to have also infected 2 male relatives. It was later discovered that the infected person was unvaccinated, and had recently traveled to the Philippines. It is recommended for people who may have been exposed to the virus, or suffering symptoms to call their doctor ahead of their arrival in order to avoid contaminating other patients.
By Dony Lugo