Measles viruses. 3D illustration showing structure of measles virus with surface glycoprotein spikes heamagglutinin-neuraminidase and fusion protein

The United Kingdom is facing a measles outbreak, while cases have also popped up in a few U.S. states in recent weeks, leading to health authorities on both sides of the pond to issue urgent warnings. 

The virus, which was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, is a wake-up call for the importance of vaccination to personal and public health. The U.K. only recently reachieved measles elimination status in 2021 after having lost the distinction in 2018. 

Unlike COVID-19 vaccines, which help prevent serious illness but don’t prevent infection, the measles vaccine is almost 100 percent effective in preventing infection. And almost everyone who has been recently infected in the U.K. and U.S. is not vaccinated against measles. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday advised health care providers to be alert for potential measles symptoms, which include a rash; cough; sore or swollen eyes; and flu-like symptoms. Providers should also be aware of patients who have recently traveled […]

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