News ID: 237551
Published: 0715 GMT January 19, 2019

New York in largest Measles outbreak of recent history

New York in largest Measles outbreak of recent history

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that can lead to some deadly complications, warned the NHS.

The infection caused around 110,000 deaths around the world in 2017 — mainly children under five years old.

New York State is currently in the middle of a measles outbreak that started in September. At least 160 people have been diagnosed with the viral infection since the outbreak began, including almost 60 in New York City, wrote.

The State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Howard Zucker, said: “I would say this is the largest measles outbreak that New York State has had in recent history.”

The measles virus is spread by coughing or sneezing. Simply touching a surface with a patients’ droplets could lead to an infection.

Travelers may be at risk of spreading the virus to other people, warned’s Pharmacist, Robert Bradshaw.

An aeroplane cabin is the ‘perfect place’ for spreading the measles virus. Around 60 flights travel between New York and London every day, according to airline analysis website, Anna Aero.

Bradshaw said: “As with similar outbreaks in the UK, it poses a serious risk to anyone traveling to and from America who has not been immunized.

“Our advice to all travelers is to ensure primary courses and boosters of MMR are up to date.

“Measles is an airborne virus which is transmitted via water droplets, so a sneeze is the perfect conduit to spread the virus around an airplane cabin, from one traveler to another

“Children under the age of one, as well as some teenagers and adults can experience complications from measles which include hearing and sight problems as well as pneumonia. In some rare cases measles can be fatal.”

“People with measles are infectious from when the symptoms first appear, these symptoms can be easily mistaken for a common cold and include a blocked nose and a high temperature.

“Measles sufferers also experience sore eyes and spots on the inside of their cheeks.”

The most common sign of the virus is the stereotypical measles rash. The rash appears around two to four days after the initial symptoms.

It causes individual, raised spots to link up, forming blotchy rashes across the body. Patients tend to feel most ill on the first or second day after the rash develops.

Other common measles symptoms include watery eyes, aches and pains, a general lack of energy, and swollen eyelids.

Diagnosing the condition early is crucial, as left untreated, it can lead to some deadly complications, including hepatitis, meningitis, and pneumonia.

You should speak to a doctor as soon as you suspect you, or your child, may have measles, warned the NHS.

The best way to lower your risk of the measles virus is to have the MMR vaccine. The vaccine is given as part of the routine NHS childhood vaccination program.

In 2016, there were more than 500 cases of measles in England - many of which were caused by missing out on the MMR vaccine during childhood.


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