Two cases of measles have been reported in the metro Atlanta area, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported today. The cases were probably brought here by unvaccinated children from Washington State, which has reported 16 cases, two of whom recently traveled to Georgia. Of the 16 Washington cases known so far, 14 were unvaccinated (the other 2 have unknown vaccine status at this time.) Most of these cases are in children less than 10 years of age, and two have been hospitalized.
Measles is among the most contagious infections known, though until just a few years ago transmission in the United States had been eliminated. It is now surging in several countries in Europe and across the globe, driven by gaps in vaccine coverage. It’s the unfortunate but entirely predictable outcome of an entirely unjustified fear of vaccines.
The symptoms of measles are fever, rash, cough, red eyes, and runny nose. If you suspect your child has measles DO NOT COME TO OUR OFFICE. A potential measles exposure is unsafe for the young babies and other vulnerable people here. Instead of coming in, CALL US ON THE PHONE, 24/7, and we will help make arrangements for your child to be evaluated safely in a setting that minimizes the risk. Please DO NOT just go to an emergency department or urgent care center – CALL US, and we will help ensure your child gets the right care in the right place.
Measles is a serious infection that can cause long-term problems. It is essential that all of us are properly vaccinated to protect ourselves, our communities, and the people among us who cannot be vaccinated (young babies and people with immune problems.) We can beat measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases back, but we must work together to fight the fearmongers, listen to the real experts & the genuine science, and do the right thing for our children. Vaccinate!