HHS, CDC Leaders Urge Measles Vaccination for Children, High-risk Adults

With 704 measles cases reported since January, the US Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials are urging vaccination for all eligible children and high-risk adults, including travelers and healthcare workers. Measles was eliminated in the United States in 2000, making this year’s case count the highest since 1994. The “vast majority” of cases involve children who have not been vaccinated, noted HHS Secretary Alex Azar during a CDC tele-briefing. CDC recommends that children receive the first of two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine between age 12 and 15 months, or between 6 and 11 months if traveling internationally. The recent outbreaks started when unvaccinated travelers to countries with widespread measles transmission returned to the U.S. and exposed others who were unvaccinated. There are currently no cases in North Carolina. About 9 percent of Americans infected this year have been hospitalized. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that health care personnel have documented evidence of immunity against measles. For more on measles, including information for health care professionals, visit https://www.cdc.gov/measles.

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