“Exquisitely Contagious,” Thoroughly Preventable Measles

Washington state has declared a public health emergency, as it fights measles outbreaks in 2 counties where vaccine coverage slipped. Now the AP is reporting several cases in the Atlanta area, too.
Most of the 35 patients in the Washington State outbreak are children, reports the PBS NewsHour. Alan Melnick, Clark County’s public health director, explains: Most people born before 1957 are believed to have natural immunity—and children often congregate in close groups. Calling measles “exquisitely contagious,” Melnick notes that “If 10 people without immunity walked into a room with someone with measles, nine would become infected.”
An unvaccinated person could catch the virus hours later from airborne droplets, writes Julia Belluz in Vox—noting that measles is the only virus that can do that. She sets out 8 things everyone should know about the disease—including evidence of the measles vaccine's safety and helpful tables to share with vaccine skeptics.

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