ATLANTA – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that measles is once again a global threat, in part due to the pandemic.
Measles is one of the most contagious viruses known. The CDC said 22 million babies worldwide missed their measles vaccines because of the pandemic.
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Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, largely thanks to vaccines.
But international travelers can bring it into the country and then it can spread among the unvaccinated.
“With just a measles vaccine, over the past 20 years the estimate is about 32 million lives saved,” said Dr. Adam Ratner. “But none of that is a guarantee and everything requires constant monitoring and constant ability to deliver vaccines to people who need it.”
The last time a measles epidemic spread in the United States was in 2019, when more than 1,200 cases were reported, according to the CDC.
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Records from the Georgia Department of Health show that 18 of those cases were here in Georgia.
Measles is still rare. By 2019, one or two cases were reported in Georgia every two years.
However, doctors recommend parents consult their children’s doctors and make sure they are up to date with all vaccines. Adults who were vaccinated against the virus before 1989 may also need to ask their doctors about acceleration.
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