WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New measles cases are on the rise and one official with New Hanover Regional Medical center blames the disease’s resurgence on parents who have opted to not get their children vaccinated.
“We had virtually zero cases in 2001, 2002 and so on and then this new idea came along that somehow not getting vaccinated was a good thing to do for your children and we have seen a steady increase in the number of measles cases since 2000,” said Dr. Michael Stoiko, pediatrics chair with NHRMC.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said this is the biggest rise in measles since the 2014 outbreak
Symptoms to look out for are:
- Runny nose, cough, red eyes.
- High fever
- Red rash that starts from the head and works its way down the body.
Measles is highly contagious and can be spread by simply being in the same room as someone who is infected. Spreading can also be caused by touching the same surface as someone who has measles. The best way to prevent getting measles is to be vaccinated.
“There is no treatment. There is nothing we can do to stop it once you have it, but the vaccine is at least 97 percent effective in preventing the disease and if you get your first vaccine as a toddler and your second vaccine by the time you’re eight years old, you’re considered to be immune for life," said Stoiko.
Stoiko said if you think your child has the measles, contact a pediatrician immediately to schedule a time and the best way to meet with them. You may be required to come in a different entrance than other patients because the disease is so contagious.