By NewsDesk @bactiman63
The Virginia Department of Health reports 20 confirmed measles cases to date this year. All people confirmed to have measles recently traveled from Afghanistan as part of the United States government’s emergency evacuation efforts known as Operation Allies Welcome. No community transmission has been identified at this time in Virginia.
Of the 20 cases, 19 have been reported from Northern Virginia–12 from Fairfax and 7 from Prince William, and one from Piedmont in Central Virginia. Health officials note at this time, the risk of measles to the general public in the Central and Northern regions of Virginia is considered to be low.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 45 measles cases were reported by 4 jurisdictions.
Measles is easily preventable. A safe and effective vaccine that prevents measles is given as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine or the measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine series. Since measles-containing vaccines became available in the United States, the disease has become rare in this country. Two doses of the vaccine are given to provide lifetime protection. The first dose is given at age 12-15 months and the second dose is given before kindergarten entry (age 4-6 years). Over 90% of the U.S. population is vaccinated against measles and approximately 95% of kindergarteners in Virginia are vaccinated against measles. However, infants younger than 12 months old are too young to be vaccinated. These infants and others who are not vaccinated are very susceptible to infection if they are exposed to someone with measles.
Listed below are the dates, times, and locations of potential measles exposure sites in the Central and Northern Region communities: