CDC fights measles outbreak

CDC fights measles outbreak

ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - The biggest measles outbreak in 25 years continues with nearly 900 cases reported nationwide.

The problem isn’t with the vaccine. Doctors tell WTOC the problem is with misinformation about the vaccine and people who just aren’t vaccinating.

People flying back into the U.S. brought the first cases of measles that sparked this outbreak. The CDC’s vaccine expert says unvaccinated adults went to countries where the virus is active.

“The measles outbreaks that we’re seeing now are because of two issues. One is the increasing measles globally, which puts all of us at risk. The second is the spread of myths and misinformation that makes communities susceptible," said Dr. Nancy Messonier, CDC Vaccine Expert.

The myths and misinformation are prevalent online where groups of people are sharing information disparaging the vaccine. Messonier says couple the misinformation with people who underestimate the virus, and you have a recipe for a big outbreak like this.

“We work really hard with our front-line workers to get the correct information to parents and to correct the myths and misinformation that’s circulating about measles," she said.

The front-line workers are local and state health departments, and the doctors. Dr. Messonier says most parents tell the CDC they trust their doctor’s recommendation on the vaccination.

“Working together with the local health department, the local providers, and the local community, we can make sure parents have the correct information, and with the measles vaccine, we can stop these outbreaks," she said.

CDC doctors aren’t working behind closed doors to make a new vaccine. They’re simply working to educate parents on the value of protecting their children. The vaccine protects more than just them.

“By vaccinating your child, you not only protect your child, but you provide protection for the whole community," Dr. Messonier said.

Right now, of the nearly 900 cases nationwide, less than 10 are here in Georgia. All of them are in Metro Atlanta.

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