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Shannon Koehle: In Mobile Society, Measles Is "Just a Plane Ride Away"

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The Center for Disease control has reported a record high measles outbreak in over a decade.

Infecting 127 U.S. citizens, compared to just 43 cases in 2007, rates have been unpredictably high so far this year.

Caused by a decrease in vaccinated persons and international travel, the infectious measles have spread to 15 states and Washington D.C.

These include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington.

Spread by droplets of nasal and throat secretions by infected persons and sometimes by airborne pathogens, the CDC spokesperson Curtis Allen says the measles are highly contagious.

Urging citizens to receive the measles vaccination, Curtis says, if someone without the vaccine comes in contact with someone who has measles, it is “highly likely” they too will contract the disease.

“The vaccine is very safe and very effective. It is the best way to protect oneself from the measles,” he says.

Similarly, Arizona state epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health Ken Kompatsu says, “Get up to date on immunizations.”

Recognizing some people avoid measles vaccinations fearing a link between autism Kompatsu reminds, there is no scientific proof. “We don’t believe this is a reason not to get vaccinated.”

With not just one, but 17 mini, unrelated outbreaks in the U.S., Allen says international travel is the cause of many measles cases.

As he says, “In our mobile society, measles is just a plane ride away.”

With an estimated 22 cases in Arizona and additional cases in San Diego linked to a traveler from Switzerland, reports Kompatsu, outbreaks are also occurring throughout Europe, Japan, Israel, and more, as the numbers infected continue to rise.

As an article in the London “Evening Standard” reads, “London is on the brink of a measles epidemic that could infect tens of thousands of people, a public health chief claims.”

Similarly, the Australian federal health department says the country has been infected with 58 cases compared to just seven this time last year, reports “The Sydney Morning Herald.”

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