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Renewed threat of Measles virus

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 6:53 AM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - There is a renewed threat of Measles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic is vaccination efforts against Measles.

“Measles is definitely still a threat, especially if we get populations that are unvaccinated,” said Region 5 Medical Director Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh.

Last week, the CDC issued a warning about the increased threat of Measles, saying about 22 million babies missed their vaccines against the deadly disease in 2020.

“Measles tends to really impact young children very severely and about one in five cases, in children, you know, become severe,” she said. “So, it can be very serious. Vaccine has really been the way that we have prevented that.”

Taking a look here locally, I did ask Dr. Cavanaugh if we’ve seen a decrease in vaccination rates.

“Data only goes through the 2019-2020 year, so we don’t have specific numbers down to the local level of, you know, how many children might have missed their vaccine series.”

She says the natural disasters plus the pandemic likely played a role in vaccination numbers slowing down.

“I’m sure that children have probably missed their vaccine series due to all that has happened.”

But she hopes people will make an effort to catch up on their vaccine records.

“We are still seeing a lot of vaccines for Measles, we still vaccinated the health unit, and we do have people coming in all the time to get caught up on their vaccine series,” she said. “So hopefully, as things kind of settle down that threat will lessen as everybody kinda catches up.”

While we haven’t seen a Measles case here in Louisiana since 2018, she wants to remind others of the importance of protecting them from the disease.

“I don’t want people to feel scared of the measles, but I think we ought to remind ourselves on how important our protection from vaccination is,” she said.

For more information about the Measles vaccine, she encourages you to speak with your doctor, and if you are behind that you go and get caught up.

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