Health officials urge the public to get vaccinated after recent measles cases

Officials urge people to get vaccines

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The recent resurgence of measles is being seen as a huge setback for public health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Monday shows more than 500 of the people infected in 22 states were not vaccinated.

And more than one-third of the cases are children younger than five years old.

So far, Tennessee's three cases are linked to an east Tennessee resident who traveled abroad to a country with a known outbreak of the virus according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

"We’ve had a lot of calls. We have had calls from providers and from hospitals concerned about possible cases. Nothing has proven to be a cases so far," said Dr. Helen Morrow, Shelby County health officer.

The record-setting year of measles cases has renewed the pushed to vaccinate all Americans.

Both rounds of the vaccine are typically given to children around their first and fourth birthdays.

Now, the CDC recommends many adults could use a booster too.

"They are now recommending that adults that may have received the vaccine in the early 60’s receive a second dose as it was a bit of a different vaccine and may not have the degree of protectiveness that it does have," said Morrow.

A blood test can tell you your immunization status if you can't remember, but Dr. Morrow says there is no harm in getting another vaccine even if that brings your total to three.

A double dose of the vaccine gives a person 97 percent immunity of the highly contagious measles virus.

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