Measles. Not measly by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the US Department of Health and Human Services recently said that the number of measles cases in the US this year has surpassed 1,000. This is clearly bad news and is in large part due to issues surrounding vaccination, with anti-vaxxers propagating harmful lies about vaccination and negatively impacting herd immunity.
Measures have been implemented in an effort to curb this trend. “The Department of Health and Human Services has been deeply engaged in promoting the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, amid concerning signs that there are pockets of undervaccination around the country,” said US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. “The 1,000th case of a preventable disease like measles is a troubling reminder of how important that work is to the public health of the nation.”
Vaccination is key to protecting against the disease, as is practising good hygiene measures such as washing hands often or using hand sanitiser, avoiding touching the eyes and mouth, disinfecting surfaces and using a tissue or sleeve when sneezing. The cases in the US have been imported from international destinations and it is particularly important that travellers practise such hygiene measures to avoid catalysing the spread of the disease.