While children are getting vaccinated against COVID, the CDC says many skipped getting vaccinated for measles during the pandemic. Now the disease that hasn’t taken an American life since 2015 is being considered a global threat again.
It’s one of the most contagious viruses know, and the CDC says measles is a threat to the world once again after 22 million babies missed their vaccines during the pandemic.
The spread has doctors at NYU Langone Health sounding the alarm.
“Disruptions that from things like the COVID pandemic can be really dangerous over a short period of time,” Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Adam Ratner said.
Measles was declares eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, thanks largely to vaccines.
But travelers can bring it into the U.S. and the virus can further spread among unvaccinated people.
While report measles cases dropped in 2020, the CDC says there were nearly 1,300 cases reported in 2019.
With missed vaccinations, the risk of outbreaks grows across the world.
“With just measles vaccine alone, over the past 20 years the estimate is about 32 million lives saved, but none of that is a guarantee and all of that requires constant vigilance and constant ability to deliver vaccines to people who need it,” Dr. Ratner said.
In the U.S., children get two doses of the measles vaccine; one at about a year of age and the second shot between the ages of four and six.
Symptoms appear one to two weeks after contact with the virus and include high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes. A rash appears three to five days after the first symptoms.
U.S. health officials say measles vaccines are key to keeping everyone safe.