The Measles outbreak is one of the nation’s most pressing public health crises in recent memory, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports record outbreaks in New York and other parts of the country?
But should you be worried about the measles outbreak across the U.S? What will happen to residents in Denver in Colorado? The short answer to those questions is that you’ll be ok, but only if you take the potential in-state threat of measles seriously for you and your children.
As reported on our blog time and time again, measles is a significant public health factor as the CDC recorded over 740 cases in 2019 alone. This is not only the most significant number since the year 2000 but the sharp increases in measles cases highlights a troubling trend:
- At the start of 2019, measles cases in the U.S numbered around 300. Since January of 2019, measles cases have more than doubled.
- The number of states that have reported a measles outbreak climbed from less than 5 to nearly 9-10 between January and May 2019.
- Measles used to be a rare healthcare in the U.S since 2000, but now 23 states reported at least a single case of measles.
In Colorado, are you at risk for getting measles and how can Denver residents protect their families from a potential outbreak?
The State of Measles in Colorado During 2019 (as of May 10, 2019)
Measles presents a significant health risk in Colorado, according to recent reports from the Denver Post. Multiple public health experts explain that low vaccination rates, combined with the current national prevalence of measles and the disease’s infectious nature, could pose risks to all residents across Colorado.
“Measles is likely to pass through Colorado at any time,” Dr. Seth Foldy, director of epidemiology, informatics and preparedness with Denver Public Health, told The Post. Other public health experts chimed in and said that low vaccination rates across Denver leave many susceptible to the disease. Currently, 88.7 percent of the state’s kindergartners are vaccinated, which is well below the CDC’s recommendation of 95 percent or higher.
“We’ve seen it happen over and over in communities where the vaccination rate is low,” Dr. Jessica Cataldi, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Colorado and vaccine researcher told The Denver Post.
Additionally, vaccination rates vary across the state of Colorado and may increase the spread of measles in certain communities. While 90 percent of Denver’s kindergartners are vaccinated with the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, only 81 percent of children the same age in Boulder Country are vaccinated. In sparsely populated counties this number goes much lower. Jackson County only has 10 kindergartners buy only 20 percent are vaccinated.
What is apparent is that Colorado as a whole may be primed for an outbreak of the measles if parents and families aren’t careful. Sparsely populated areas have low vaccination rates while densely populated areas may have just enough unvaccinated children/people in general to spread the disease.
So what can you do to protect your family from measles if you live in Colorado?
Get any updated vaccinations and stay alert for any updates about outbreaks
Ultimately, the best way to prevent measles vaccinations is to first make sure your child has an updated MMR vaccine.
If you are unsure if your child needs an updated vaccine, consult your primary care provider or a trusted medical professional about vaccination histories. Medical professionals and the CDC agree that children require a measles vaccination during two times in their life. The first vaccine is between the ages of 12 months to 15 months while the second is during the ages of 4 to 6 years old.
Sometimes children may need to get expedited vaccinations depending upon their individual circumstances. However, most children fall into basic CDC guidelines for vaccinations.
Whenever your child requires an MMR vaccine, but your doctor’s office is too busy, make sure you consider one of our four AFC Urgent Care Denver centers to get an updated MMR vaccine.
AFC Urgent Care in Denver Speer provides an ample supply of patients that live on or near Speer Boulevard whenever their child is due for a vaccine. Additionally, any one of our other AFC Urgent Care locations provide vaccines at an on-order basis so patients in Denver Highlands, Cherry Creek, and Denver East can get vaccines at each walk-in clinic.
If you’re a patient that requires an updated MMR vaccination, make sure you use any of the buttons below to schedule an appointment.
At AFC Urgent Care Denver, we want to make sure that you get more than a walk-in clinic or local urgent care center: we’re here to help you make the best possible decisions when it comes to preventing and avoiding measles contagion.
Always follow public health updates when it comes to any measles outbreak via the CDC, local news, and major media organizations.
Additionally, make sure that you can identify misinformation spread by anti-vaxxing campaigns as well. Recently, many individuals continue to spread potentially dangerous myths, such as a false link between measles and autism. Many public health experts have found no link between vaccines and autism or other harmful effects. However, the World Health Organization flagged anti-vaxxer campaigns as one of the 10 most dangerous public health threats.
Get the facts about vaccines and autism from your local healthcare providers, primary doctors, and expert organizations. Fact check any information you see on social media and stay informed.
Having a strong sense of prevention and awareness can protect you from measles and allow you to live a stress-free life!