Recently, the Connecticut Department of Health reported 2 confirmed cases of measles in Fairfield, Connecticut .We had been clear of the measles virus for years due to the very successful MMR vaccination campaign, and thought it had been eliminated. MMR, aka the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine was thought to have knocked the disease out of the state of Connecticut altogether. We had not seen it rear its’ ugly head since 2000, up until this most recent outbreak of measles in March.  The vast majority of these recent cases are, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, being traced back to infections imported from countries outside of the US. Thus far, 51 cases have been reported in the U.S. this year, mostly in New York, Massachusetts, California and  now the 2 recent outbreaks in Connecticut. Why the concern? Spread through the air, measles is highly contagious.

 Measles Symptoms can include:

bright red eyes, runny nose, rash and fever.  Often times the rash begins at the hairline, and can migrate to the soles of the feet and palms of the hand. Typically the  virus is finished in 5-7 days. In the first 72 hours after contracting the virus, immunizations are effective. If caught after that however, a more stringent treatment is necessary. You may be wondering why the disease is still around. Outbreaks generally spawn from people who had not had the MMR vaccination.  an outbreak in New York City last March,  for example, one of the largest the U.S. has seen since 1996,  stemmed from an un vaccinated 17-year-old. Controversy surrounding the MMR vaccine  still exists, and this is usually the reason why some parents do not vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine. Here at  West Hartford,  we highly recommend parents follow the vaccine regimen set forth by pediatricians as part of a child’s regular vaccination schedule.