Measles are spreading in communities throughout the United States and around the world. The City of St. Louis Department of Health is advising residents to make sure they are vaccinated against this highly contagious viral illness, if they are planning to travel to areas where cases of measles have been reported. Although no cases have been reported in St. Louis City risks of contracting the disease remain high for those who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated and travel to communities with reported cases of the disease. More measles cases can occur due to an increase in the number of travelers who get measles abroad and return to the U.S. or from communities in the U.S. with pockets of unvaccinated individuals.
Some of the symptoms of measles are runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat followed by a rash that spreads over the body. The disease can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, deafness and even death.
“With the summer travel season approaching and as residents begin making travel plans and plans to receive summer guests, it’s important that they take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting, and possibly spreading this highly contagious illness,” said Dr. Fredrick Echols, director of health for the City of St. Louis Department of Health. “Travelers should make sure they have a measles vaccination and add vaccinations on their travel planning checkoff list”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that there have already been more measles cases in the United States this year than any year in the last five years. Between January 1 and April 26, 704 cases of measles were confirmed in 22 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. New York City, and the states of California, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Washington are reporting outbreaks (defined as 3 or more cases that are epidemiologically linked).
The majority of the people who get measles are unvaccinated.
Visit the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html for updated case and outbreak information.
Department of Health
Immunizations and Public Health