U.S. Headed Toward Most Measles Cases In 10 Years

The Huffington Post

By MIKE STOBBE   05/ 5/11 05:48 AM ET

ATLANTA — The United States seems to be on track to have more measles cases than any year in more than a decade, with virtually all cases linked to other countries, including Europe where there’s a big outbreak.

Already there have been 89 cases reported so far. The U.S. normally sees only about 50 cases of measles in a year thanks to vaccinations.

Health officials are reluctant to make predictions, but acknowledge the pace of reports is unusually hot.

“It’s hard to say, but we’re certainly getting a lot,” said Dr. Greg Wallace, who leads the measles, mumps, rubella and polio team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Europe, especially France, has been hit hard by measles, with more than 6,500 cases reported in 33 nations. International health officials are blaming it on the failure to vaccinate all children.

Just about all U.S. outbreaks were sparked by people bringing it here from other countries. This week, international health officials posted an alert urging travelers everywhere to get the recommended two doses of vaccine before flying overseas.

“The risk of getting infection is very high,” said Dr. Cuauhtemoc Ruiz Matus, an immunization expert with the Pan American Health Organization.

In the U.S., the worst year for measles in the last decade was 2008, when 140 cases were reported. There have been no measles deaths this year, but health officials warn the disease can be dangerous.

Measles is highly contagious and up to 90 percent of people exposed to an infected person get sick, experts say. The virus spreads easily through the air, and in closed rooms, infected droplets can linger for up to two hours after the sick person leaves.

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Additional Research.

An analysis of the long-term cycle in the spread of measles in Italy

http://www.dipstat.unina.it/Quaderni%20di%20statistica/volume%206/CLEUR%20articolo%20completo.pdf

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.