Jack Simpson

Jack Simpson

My spouse has been hearing about the return of the measles and she is deeply concerned about it.

She had the virus as a child and also had it return when she was an adult.

She remembers that many years ago measles visited her with a high fever, runny nose, diarrhea and a red rash from head to toe! She was warned by her doctor that if she was not careful, she might suffer serious illness.

She had no way of knowing where or how she contracted the disease but knew it was very contagious and easily passed in a room where others were suffering from the virus.

Places like hospitals, offices, schools and anywhere people congregate are good settings for a measles infection.

Immunization may protect you or ensure you of a milder case. No guarantee.

Measles was supposed to have been eliminated in the United States by the year 2000; but in 2019, Georgia has seen a greater number of new cases. Cases are being confirmed in other states as well. Many of these measles cases are being brought here by immigrants from the Philippines, Israel and Ukraine.

My spouse worries about again contracting the virus, especially when hearing that 19 other states are reporting new cases.

The CDC is warning that people be vaccinated, as the measles vaccine seems to be 97% effective.

My wife is on the alert for blotchy rash, runny nose and body aches. She realizes her risk may be greater, for some reason, than even someone that has had prior infections.

People who were reported as having been vaccinated before 1957 were supposed to be immune to the measles. With the new warnings, they may face new threats. The fear from spiraling statistics has caused new concerns. As of November 2018, the Centers for Disease Control reports an increase in cases of the measles. Complications from the virus have caused deaths, with children age 5 and adults over 20 at greatest risk.

In light of this latest news, Americans need to keep fully informed and contact their local physicians if a case of measles is suspected.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

Stay Informed