Measles Outbreak Alert Issued for Afghanistan
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions, regarding measles outbreak in sections of Afghanistan.
On March 17, 2022, the CDC confirmed measles cases had been reported in all provinces, with the highest rates occurring in Paktya, Balkh, Kunduz, Zabul, Kandahar, and Logar.
The CDC says 'All travelers to Afghanistan, including infants and preschool-aged children, should be fully vaccinated against measles according to Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices immunization schedules.
In February 2022, the CDC published updated measles vaccination schedules.
Previously, the WHO confirmed a measles vaccination campaign launched in Afghanistan; around 1.2 million children in 24 provinces would be vaccinated in 2022.
And as of February 2022, the countries of Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, and India reported the most measles cases in the second half of 2021.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes.
The measles virus can live for up to two hours in airspace after an infected person leaves an area.
International travelers should seek medical care if they develop a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, or red, watery eyes.
Travelers with suspected measles should notify the healthcare facility before visiting so staff can implement precautions to prevent spread within the facility.
Most measles cases in the U.S. have been traced back to international travelers.
However, as of December 2021, the U.S. government does not require proof of measles immunization before visiting the U.S.
As of March 3, 2022, a total of 2 measles cases were reported by U.S. jurisdictions.
In 2021, a total of 49 measles cases were reported by five jurisdictions. Most of the twenty-two cases in Northern Virginia were related to under-vaccinated travelers.
The M-M-R vaccine is most often available at clinics and local pharmacies.
Other measles vaccination news is posted at PrecisionVaccinations.com/measles.
Note: This news article edited CDC information for clarity and was curated for mobile readers.