The number of patients diagnosed with measles in the United States continues to grow with 75 new cases reported in the last week, bringing the total to 839 confirmed cases in 23 states.
The United States is presently seeing the highest number of measles cases since the disease was considered eliminated in this country in the year 2000. Measles is reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.
The American Red Cross has been involved in a worldwide battle against measles for years and continues its global fight against the disease. See the latest here.
Since 2001, the Red Cross and our partners in the Measles & Rubella Initiative have vaccinated more than two billion children in 88 countries around the world to protect them from both of these deadly diseases. Our partners in this lifesaving program include the United Nations Foundation, the CDC, UNICEF and World Health Organization. With this latest outbreak here at home, the Red Cross wants everyone to know about measles – just how contagious it is, how to recognize it, what you should do if exposed to measles and more.
HOW DID THIS OUTBREAK HAPPEN?
Measles is still a common disease in some parts of the world and travelers either bring measles into the U.S. or someone from this country gets measles while traveling and brings it home. The disease can spread in a community where a large number of people have not been vaccinated, which the CDC reports is what has occurred.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia require vaccinations for children entering kindergarten, however all states also provide medical exemptions to these requirements and some states also offer exemptions for religious and philosophical reasons.
TELL ME ABOUT MEASLES
According to the CDC:
AM I AT RISK FOR MEASLES?
The CDC considers you protected from measles if you have records showing at least one of the following:
You can find more information from the CDC here.
HOW DO I CARE FOR SOMEONE WITH MEASLES?
The Mayo Clinic makes the following recommendations:
In a recent CNN Opinion post, Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross and Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation had this to say about measles: “In the United States, Europe and Latin America, we're seeing more and more headlines proclaiming a child has suffered due to measles -- a disease that is easily preventable by vaccination.
“As the disease surges to its highest levels in more than a decade, it's imperative that we all come together to stop the world from backsliding any further -- and that means ensuring everyone gets vaccinated. Unless we act -- and fast -- more people will get the virus and die. And many of the victims will be children.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you would like to join the worldwide fight against measles and rubella, donate to the Red Cross Measles and Rubella Initiative. Text PREVENT to 90999 to give $10 to the Red Cross and help us vaccinate children against measles.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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