Increase in Measles Cases - April 26, 2019

 

 

 

Having seen the news about the measles outbreak you might be asking whether you should get vaccinated. Please find below our summary that addresses most questions we've been getting in the last few weeks:

You do not need the MMR vaccine if:

    • you were born in the United States before 1957
    • or, if you have documentation of vaccination, which is one dose of MMR vaccine in the past
    • or, if you have documentation of a blood test that shows you are immune to measles.

 

In case none of the above applies to you, or you are unsure about your vaccination or immunity status:

 

  1. Please make an appointment with the office staff for a quick visit. 
  2. We will check your immunity status in your blood (no fasting needed) and let you know in 2-3 days in case you need the vaccination. 
  3. If it turns out that you do, we will send a vaccine order to your pharmacy where you will receive the vaccination.

 

Please note that this is a live vaccine, and ONLY those who DO NOT show immunity should be vaccinated. Hence, we do not send vaccine orders to pharmacies without checking immunity in the blood first.

Please also note that we will do our best to accommodate you for this quick visit as early as possible, but same day appointments might not always be available.

If you still have any questions regarding this message, please contact our office via phone (323) 954-1072, the Patient Portal or the Healow app.

 

Measles (MMR) Immunization

Public Health Clinics Free Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) immunizations are available for people who are uninsured or underinsured at the following health centers:

List of Clinics HERE

 

From PUBLIC HEALTH NEWS:

LA Measles Outbreak Linked To Foreign Travel.

The Los Angeles Times (4/29, Karlamangla) examines the roots of LA’s measles outbreak. Per the Times, “Officials say that every person diagnosed with measles in the U.S. either contracts it abroad or from someone who got it abroad,” saying that the US outbreak “began when travelers to Israel contracted measles, which then gained a foothold in an unvaccinated segment of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.” The Times says LA’s “problems began when an L.A. County resident visited Vietnam earlier this year and contracted measles, said L.A. County health officer Dr. Muntu Davis,” and an additional case “popped up...after a resident took a trip to Thailand, he said.”

 

Measles Cases Reach 25-Year High In US, CDC Says.

The Washington Post (4/29, Sun) reports “at least 704 people in the United States have been sickened this year by measles,” which is the highest “number of cases in a single year in 25 years,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The article points out that the record number of measles cases this year “represents a huge setback for public health after measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.” CDC Director Robert Redfield pointed out that there is no cure for measles and that “there is no way to predict how bad a case of measles will be.” Nancy Messonnier, the head of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that communities with low vaccination rates that are experiencing outbreaks now have been “targeted with inaccurate and misleading information about vaccines.”

The New York Times (4/29, A1, McNeil) reports the total number of cases so far this year is the highest since 1994 when there were 963 cases. The article adds that there have been measles cases in 22 states so far this year, but the largest outbreak has been in the New York City area, “mostly in Orthodox Jewish communities.” Meanwhile, “Los Angeles is now experiencing a fast-growing outbreak, and hundreds of university students who are thought to have been exposed and cannot prove that they have had their shots have been asked to quarantine themselves at home.”

The Wall Street Journal (4/29, McKay, Subscription Publication) reports that 78 cases have been reported just in the past week. The article adds that while there have been no deaths from measles this year, 9% of cases were hospitalized and 3% had pneumonia.

Reuters (4/29, Borter) reports Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said, “The suffering we are seeing today is completely avoidable. We know vaccines are safe because they’re among some of the most studied medical products we have.” CBS News (4/29, Welch) reports on its website that Azar also said, “Measles is not a harmless childhood illness but a dangerous highly contagious disease.” Azar added, “Vaccine preventable diseases belong in the history books, not in our emergency rooms. The suffering we are seeing today is completely avoidable.”

USA Today (4/29, Alltucker) reports that last week, Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said measles has reemerged as a threat to public health in the US and that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is both safe and effective.

Additional coverage is provided by: the AP (4/29, Stobbe), Axios (4/29, Freedman), CNBC (4/29, LaVito), The Hill (4/29, Weixel), the Indianapolis Star (4/29, Rudavsky), Modern Healthcare (4/29, Johnson, Subscription Publication), NBC News (4/29), the New York Post (4/29, Steinbuch), STAT (4/29, Branswell),U.S. News & World Report (4/29, Galvin), the Washington Examiner (4/29, Leonard), the Washington Times (4/29, Howell), and CIDRAP (4/29, Schnirring).