A nationwide measles outbreak has health officials in Northeast Wisconsin concerned. Multiple cases of measles have been found in 10 states and local physicians are urging everyone to make sure they’ve been vaccinated.
Health officials are on alert in the U.S. as 127 confirmed cases of measles have been found in 10 states since the start of 2019. A serious illness that Pediatrician, Dr. Lindsay Deuster of Prevea Health has seen before.
“I’ve seen cases of measles and an outbreak in Minnesota and those kids were so sick and so ill,” said Deuster.
The CDC reports that since January 1 – measles outbreaks defined as 3 cases or more – have been reported in New York, Texas, and Washington. Areas where Dr. Deuster says, for whatever reason, children have not been vaccinated against measles.
“I think there is a lot of fear, people don’t really remember the measles and how serious it can be,” she said. “Measles will be a little bit more easily transmitted in areas with lower vaccination rates, which is what we’re seeing in the Washington area.”
While no cases have been found in Wisconsin, Deuster says that could change quickly if an infected individual crosses paths with anyone not immunized against the disease.
“Ninety percent of people who are not vaccinated are going to contract the illness, if they’ve been in the same space as somebody, even up to two hours afterward,” said Deuster.
This doctor says measles is a serious illness, hospitalizing 30 percent of children infected and killing one of every thousand that becomes sick. But worry can be avoided with the measles vaccine.
“The vaccine is highly protected, it is going to protect people in 99 percent of the cases,” she said.
While also preventing outbreaks from even happening.
Dr. Deuster says someone with measles traveled to the La Crosse area this summer. But luckily the disease did not spread.