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Protect your health with immunizations: Total U.S. measles cases in 2019 climbs to 555, none yet reported in Alaska

April 19, 2019




Since April 11, 2019, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 555 individual cases of measles in 20 states, with 90 new cases recently reported. U.S. outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries where large measles outbreaks are occurring. The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.

There have been no cases of measles reported in Alaska this year as of April 16, 2019.

Measles is prevented by the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses of MMR are recommended for all children starting with the first dose at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. Teens and adults should also confirm that they are up to date on their MMR vaccination. One dose of MMR vaccine is approximately 93% effective for the prevention of measles and two doses are approximately 97% effective.

The summer travel season will soon be here. Are you, your family, and your community protected?

Ensure you and your family members are up to date on the MMR vaccination and all vaccinations by talking with your health care provider. To see a full list of recommended childhood and adult vaccinations, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/parents-adults/index.html.

If you are in Anchorage, you can visit the ANTHC Walk-in Clinic for the MMR and other vaccinations without an appointment. The Walk-in Clinic is open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Walk-in Clinic phone number is (907) 729-1500.

About measles

Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease caused by a virus. It spreads in the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. A rash breaks out three to five days after symptoms begin. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet. Serious complications can occur.

Persons with measles are most infectious four days before the rash onset to four days after the rash onset. If you develop symptoms of measles, call your health care provider or the emergency department, before coming into the clinic.

More information on measles is available from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.


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