• By Sarah Frantz Isom, MPH, CHES
  • Posted Monday, May 6, 2019

Measles Prevention a Top Priority for Forsyth County

As of April 26th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported over 700 confirmed cases of measles from 22 states. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated from the country in 2000. There are currently no reported cases of measles in Forsyth County, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen here.

“I encourage all of our residents to make sure they, their families, and their communities are protected from measles and other vaccine preventable diseases,” says Joshua Swift, Public Health Director for Forsyth County. “Vaccines save lives and this is a simple message we can communicate throughout our community. They are safe and effective and help protect adults and children in Forsyth County from measles.”

Vaccination is the best way to protect against measles. Children should receive their first dose of measles vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age and then another dose between 4 and 6 years of age. MMR vaccine is generally first given at 12 months of age in the United States, but is sometimes recommended for children as young as 6 months of age who are traveling outside the United States or could be infected in an outbreak.

The CDC reports that a significant contributing factor to multiple outbreaks across the U.S. is the spread of misinformation in communities about the safety of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Forsyth County Department of Public Health encourages parents and guardians to speak to their family’s healthcare provider about the importance of vaccination and to receive accurate information if they have concerns about vaccine safety. Parents can also visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents for more information on the MMR vaccine and other vaccines.

“Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease. A small number of cases are capable of producing epidemics,” says Swift. “It is important to keep ourselves and our community safe by making sure we are all protected against measles.”

For more information on measles, please visit www.cdc.gov/measles.

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