To maintain herd immunity against measles, we need a 95% vaccination rate. Currently, we’re only at about 93%, and those who are opting out (as opposed to those who have to skip due to being immune compromised) tend to be clustered, which has lead to hot spots of measles outbreaks.
Measles is highly contagious, and vaccination wanes over time. If you are vaccinated, you’re still protected against having severe symptoms, but the older you are the less likely you still have immunity.
Even though the national vaccination rate is close to herd immunity levels, it’s local rates that are triggering outbreaks. A community might trend away from vaccination, dipping levels to 70% or lower, and leading to an outbreak of measles.
Once an outbreak gets going, people who are immunocompromised (especially babies and young children) are most at risk. Measles can spread for days before symptoms show up, so there’s no such thing as over-cautious in areas with outbreaks.
Symptoms of measles include fever, muscle ache, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. A few days after those first symptoms of measles appear, a viral rash breaks out and spreads down the body. It can take a week or two after infection for symptoms of measles to appear after infection. Ear infections are a common but not universal side effect, and can be severe enough to lead to hearing loss.
The current outbreaks pose a small risk of spreading, so pay attention to local headlines. If you want to be prepared, try daily immune support with colloidal silver.
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