Should Mainers Be Worried About The Recent Measles Outbreak?
This week, the state of Washington declared a state of emergency because they have confirmed over 35 cases of measles. State health officials have been trying their best to contain an outbreak situation in two counties, and it also seems to be spreading throughout other areas of the Pacific Northwest as well, as there have also been cases reported in Oregon.
Measles is hard to contain due to the fact that it's an airborne disease, that can stay hanging in the air for up to two hours. So if a person with measles was at your house, it is pretty likely that if you're not vaccinated, that you will most likely contract the ailment.
The elderly, immune-compromised, and children are at extremely high risk. And with all the controversy surrounding parents opting out of vaccinating their kids, the problem is getting worse, according to an article at NPR.com.
I reached out to the folks at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, and they said the last confirmed case of measles in Maine was in 2017. And there were none in 2018. Also, the Maine Center for Disease Control keeps a pretty detailed record of infection and prevention. Feel free to look at that here.
The big takeaway, is that right now, measles don't seem to be a pressing issue for us to worry about at this time. But, people travel, and it's an airborne disease. So infection for those that aren't protected is pretty easy. So if you haven't been vaccinated, it may be something to keep in mind when, and where, you travel.
Nobody wants the measles, and I am not going to open up a specific debate about vaccinations. That is a hot subject for a lot of people. And if you look at the link above, there are very specific reasons why a person might need to avoid it. But ultimately, it is your choice. But hey.... at the end of the day, we hope everyone stays healthy. that's the most important thing of all!