CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Cases of measles have been on the decline for years. However, physicians are noticing an uptick once again.
According to the CDC, millions of children missed vaccinations during the pandemic, resulting in an estimated 18 percent increase in measles cases in 2022. So far this year, 41 measles cases have been reported across the United States. Measles is a disease caused by a virus and can spread easily.
22News spoke to a pediatrician who said measles remains a health problem that can pose a danger to children.
“We’ve been lucky that we haven’t had an outbreak of measles because most people are vaccinated against it. If people stop vaccinating against measles, that could spread it around to the rest of the community. There are kids that don’t have adequate immune systems so if they get measles they could be in real serious danger. So, it’s not just protecting your own kids it’s protecting the kids around you,” said Dr. James Bell, Medical Director at Fairview Pediatrics.
Measles looks and feels like a cold or the flu at first. A cough, high fever, runny nose and red, watery eyes are common. A few days later, a red, blotchy rash starts on the face, and then spreads to the rest of the body. It’s particularly dangerous for younger children.
Dr. Bell recommends calling your pediatrician to make an appointment if you need the vaccine for your child.