BIRMINGHAM, AL (WAFF) - The measles outbreak is getting out of hand and health experts are worried! 626 people in 22 states have reported having the illness.
No confirmed cases of the measles have been reported in Alabama, but the doctor says there have been in surrounding states including Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
Research are working to find out where those people traveled. It is confirmed that at least one person has been to Mississippi, possibly going through Alabama.
Dr. Kelsey Ivey is an infectious disease doctor here at the UAB Huntsville Medical Campus. She says the number of people sick with the measles is rising. So far this year there have already been almost double all of last year’s total.
Ivey says the vaccination is 97 percent effective, but a lot of people are saying no to the shot.
“For people who are not immune, who have not been vaccinated, if you are exposed to measles, there is about a 90 percent chance you will get the measles from the exposure, so it’s highly contagious,” said Ivey.
As of now, Alabamians have dodged the measles outbreak, but some of the symptoms are similar to the common cold. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for.
“Classic symptoms of measles would be, typically starts with a fever, often times a high fever, associated with cough, runny nose, redness of the eyes, and then about 2-4 days after the fever starts, you see the development of rash that often starts on the head and spreads to the rest of the body,” said Ivey.
Ivey says unless you’ve had the measles shots, you’re vulnerable. It’s not too late to have the shot, but there are some of you who might have to wait.
“There are certain people who have a medical reason why they can’t receive the vaccine. Typically, it’s not given to children under the age of 12 months, to people who have severe compromise of their immune system such as cancer patience who are undergoing chemotherapy for example and women during pregnancy cannot receive the vaccine,” said Ivey.
She says for the rest of us, we have the responsibility to make sure we and our children are vaccinated. Not only will it keep us safe, it will also protect those people that can’t get the vaccine