Experts warn on the rising threat of measles in the U.S.
The Global Virus Network, which is a coalition of the world's leading medical virology research centers that works to prevent illness and death from viral disease, said the rise of measles in the U.S. could be an issue since the once eliminated disease is now not vaccinated for.
"Measles is a dangerous disease. We lose sight of the dangers because currently the disease is rare in the U.S. and usually imported from other countries where measles is more prevalent" Dr. Diane Griffin the GVN Center of Excellence said. "While most cases resolve with no complications in 10-14 days measles can cause diarrhea and ear infections as well as other serious side effects - seizures pneumonia and encephalitis which can each lead to death. The most vulnerable in the US are those under the age of 12 to 15 months when the measles vaccine is usually given. Infants are therefore at the highest risk. Those who do not vaccinate their own children place infants of other families at risk as well as their own children."
Measles was eliminated in the U.S. by 2000, but has recently seen a resurgence due to parents not vaccinating their children. With this growing threat, scientists at the GVN centers are working on improving the measles vaccine and to better understand the complications involved with measles in the global community.
"There is still much to do in terms of improving vaccinations against measles," Griffin said. "While the two dose regimen provides protection for populations when delivered appropriately a single dose regimen would be ideal and for developing countries a vaccine that did not need refrigeration or require a needle and syringe would facilitate delivery."