The first measles case of 2019 has been confirmed in East Tennessee. Officials who identified the disease would not say which county or city it was confirmed in.
This comes after the near record high outbreak of measles continues to spread across the country. There’s been a total of 555 cases in this year alone, spanning across 20 states.
One of the reasons behind the spike in the amount of cases? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s due to the anti-vaccination movement. This information is based on the fact that the majority of those infected aren’t vaccinated.
Tennessee typically has a high vaccination rate and has only had 16 reported cases of measles since 1995. Out of those 16 cases, seven of them were from Shelby County in 2016.
The high increase in the number of cases isn’t just limited to the U.S. This is showing to be a worldwide trend that’s consistent with the anti-vaccination movement. The World Health Organization has reported a 300% rise in cases in just the first three months of 2019 compared to 2018.
Health officials in Tennessee are warning everyone about the symptoms of measles. These symptoms can include a horrible rash, a fever, and body aches. They’re urging people to take the proper precautions to avoid getting the disease, which is getting vaccinated from it.
How does it spread?
If you don’t already know, the measles virus spreads simply through a cough or a sneeze. All it takes is breathing in contaminated air to become infected if you aren’t vaccinated. The CDC states that the virus is so contagious that if one person has it then 90% of people around them are bound to get it too.
Measles isn’t just a little rash and a fever, it’s possibly deadly, which is why it’s so crucial to be protected from it. Severe complications include swelling of the brain and and pneumonia that can both lead to death if not treated properly.
The best way to prevent measles
The best and only way to prevent getting measles is to be vaccinated. Although it may seem tempting to join the anti-vaccination movement due to the beliefs of yourself or someone you know, it’s unsafe for you and your family.
Not getting yourself and your loved ones vaccinated puts your whole family at a risk of getting possibly deadly diseases. Some of these cases can be nearly incurable, so it’s best to take all measures that you can to avoid the worst. Since a measles outbreak has already begun, it’s best to get vaccinated as soon as you can.
What you can do
As long as you’ve been vaccinated, there’s nothing that you need to do about the situation. Ensuring you and your loved ones are safe from getting the disease is the most important thing you can do, so make sure everyone is up to date on their vaccinations.