The Centers for Disease Control has been monitoring this health situation which is now affecting Indiana along with sixteen other states.

As you know, infections and diseases can spread rather quickly. That happens to be the case right now, as at least 45 cases of measles have been reported in the U.S. across 17 states so far this year, according to new weekly figures published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One week ago, there were 35 cases of measles and now a few days later there are now 45 and Indiana is among the states reporting cases. This can be an even bigger problem in the United States as measles is one of the most contagious diseases out there.

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This new uptick in measles cases has spiked early in 2024 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The recent outbreak of cases of measles has spread across 17 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. Indiana reported a case on February 24th in Lake County, near Chicago. Citing privacy concerns, the department has refused to release additional information, according to CBS News.

What's Causing This Measles Outbreak?

According to CBS News, globally, measles cases have been rising with large or disruptive outbreaks in countries across the Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, and Asia. The CDC has said this increased the share of unvaccinated travelers exposed to the virus and bringing it back to the United States. There were only 58 total measles cases in the entire country during 2023, but there are already almost that many in the first two months of 2024 alone.

What Are Measles Exactly?

Measles causes a red, blotchy rash that usually appears first on the face and behind the ears, then spreads downward to the chest and back and finally to the feet. Measles symptoms appear seven to fourteen days after contact with the virus and typically include high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. Measles rash appears three to five days after the first symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control:

<p>Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing.</p><p>If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected.</p>

The health officials at the Centers for Disease Control also say that a person with measles is contagious four days before the rash appears and four days afterward. Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children.

Some people may suffer from severe complications from measles, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Out of the young that develop pneumonia from measles, the CDC says "nearly 1 to 3 of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die". What is a mild irritation for some can be deadly for others especially the vulnerable old and young.

Officials believe that we will see more of an increase in measles as the year goes on. If you believe you or your child has contracted measles, you should contact a healthcare provider immediately. Check out the urgent measles bulletin from the CDC for more information and updates on what is now affecting Indiana.

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