19 January 2024- Health officials are keeping an eye on a measles outbreak in four states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, according to US News and the Centers for Disease Control.
The highly contagious virus was declared eliminated from the US in 2000 but is popping up as people return to the country from infected areas.
The World Health Organization and the CDC explain that “measles continues to pose a relentlessly increasing threat to children, citing a joint report from the agencies that found an 18 percent rise in cases and a 43 percent jump in deaths from the virus from 2021 to 2022.” The vaccine against measles is 97% effective; symptoms include cough, runny nose, high fever, and red and watery eyes and a rash.
This all comes at a time when hospitalizations for COVID, flu, and RSV are at an all time high, including locally at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown. Additional complications have arisen locally, as well, as Chambersburg Hospital has announced that it will still care for NICU patients but inpatient care could be limited for other juveniles.