A panel at the CDC found that as of 2011, the elimination of measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome had been sustained in the United States. (Elimination implies the absence of a chain of transmission that is continuous for 12 months or more). And authors pointed to the fact that the key to elimination was vaccination.
Despite this finding, the CDC has also reported that this year so far, we have seen 175 confirmed cases of measles and 20 hospitalizations. Although these numbers don t look so large at first glance, they are about three times higher than the usual number of cases. And almost all of the cases were among individuals who were not vaccinated. According to CDC Director Thomas Frieden, This isn t the failure of a vaccine; it s the failure to vaccinate.
Furthermore, there are about 60 imported cases of the measles each year, due to travelers who come from abroad. For the most part, however, those cases have not spread much due to the large majority of Americans being vaccinated.
But for those not vaccinated, you may want to consider changing your mind. According to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, This is an eminently controllable, eminently eliminable childhood viral infection ¦The fact that measles continues to spread is an ongoing tragedy.
One more thing on the vaccination front according to Dr. Ben Marshall, a consultant respiratory physician at Southampton General Hospital, speaking about his staff, it is really crucial that staff across the NHS have the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their colleagues, who would take the brunt of their absence from work if they contracted flu but, more importantly, to protect their patients who might not be able to withstand the effects of the virus." This is something we at ACSH have been saying for years!