Measles outbreak across the U.S. prompts health tips from doctor

Measles outbreak across the U.S. prompts health tips from doctor

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - There is a measles outbreak across the United States. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a spike in measles cases in 2019, and the sudden incline has health officials concerned.

It has been less than a month into 2019, and there have been over 100 measles cases reported across 21 states.

The highly contagious disease has luckily not made it to Mississippi since 1992, but Dr. Joyce Olutade at the University of Mississippi Medical Center said the outbreak of measles across the U.S. is a perfect example of why it is so important to vaccinate your children.

“It is one of the most contagious viral infections, but the irony of it is it’s also one of the most effective vaccinations," she said. “Over 97 percent of people who receive the vaccine will be protected."

Dr. Olutade says because it is one of the most contagious infections, she is not surprised to see measles cases on the rise.

“Nine out of 10 people who are not vaccinated will get infected. That is 90 percent," said Dr. Olutade.

Dr. Olutade shared symptoms parents can look out for if they think their child might have the measles.

“Cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Four days later, you will get a rash on the face and spread throughout the body,” she said.

Because the measles are so highly contagious, Dr. Olutade recommends calling your doctor first before going in for a visit.

“We would rather come to your house or have the public health department come to your house, because we don’t want to bring a child who is infected to the doctor’s office where they can spread the virus," she said.

Copyright 2019 WLBT. All rights reserved.