August 24, 2018

One Case Lands Indiana On Measles Watchlist

Article origination IPBS-RJC
A rash forms on a person with measles 3-5 days after they contract the virus. - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A rash forms on a person with measles 3-5 days after they contract the virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Indiana is one of 21 states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed on a watch list for measles.  The state has had one reported case of measles. It takes three to declare an outbreak. 

Measles can be deadly. Indiana University Hospital infection prevention director Dr. Cole Beeler says the measles vaccination is the best way to prevent the highly contagious disease.

"The vast majority of these cases that pop up are in people who have not been vaccinated, so there are strict recommendations to make sure that patients get vaccinated," says Beeler. 

Beeler says Indiana’s childhood vaccination requirements are adequate.  People can exempt their children based on medical or religious reasons. 

Beeler says the more people who are vaccinated, the better. 

"The reason why is that this is really something that requires herd immunity, so, herd immunity is where you have additional protection as a community the more people who are vaccinated," says Beeler.  

Beeler says if 85-95 percent of the population is immunized that protects the rest that aren’t.

In 2014 ,there were a record number of cases in the U.S. related to an outbreak in the Philippines. Beeler says the current measles outbreak in Europe is something Hoosiers need to be aware of.

"We need to be globally minded when it comes to infectious disease, and we need to keep a close eye on outbreaks that are going on worldwide," says Beeler. 

Nationally there have been 124 cases reported. Last year there were 118 cases.

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