Becky Snow, immunization coordinator for Southwest District Public Health
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
It's not often you hear about measles cases here in America. It is easily preventable. But a recent spike is putting the once-common virus back in the headlines.
For more than decade measles cases have been virtually non-existent here. Vaccinations have eliminated the once prevalent virus.
But a new warning from the Centers for Disease Control shows a spike. In countries throughout Europe, more than 20,000 cases of measles are reported every year. It's because immunization standards amongst school age children are lax.
Becky Snow, immunization coordinator for Southwest District Public Health says the numbers of measles cases are still small in America but the virus can be deadly.
"Measles outbreaks are usually associated with international travel outside the United States and coming back and bringing the disease. It's very contagious there are higher deaths associated with measles because of encephalitis and several seizures that are associated with it," she said.
The CDC issued a report this week that identified 52 cases of imported measles that led to 175 people contracting the virus. Health officials say there is no excuse for an American born child to get the measles.
"We have the children whose parents refuse to get them vaccinated. Those small pockets create the problems of outbreaks."
A warning for parents to vaccinate their kids and help eradicate an unnecessary outbreak at home. Health officials say children should get their first measles vaccine at age one and another before starting school.
No cases have been reported in South Georgia, but each day about 400 people die from measles worldwide.