• Measles is on the rise in Arizona.
  • 151 measles cases have been reported by 22 jurisdictions across the United States.
  • Measles is an airborne virus that's extremely infectious. The side effects can be severe.

Believe me, I know that we're still weary from the constant news cycle we experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

People worldwide questioned some of the health measures suggested by government organizations that were meant to keep us safe. Everything from social distancing to vaccinations to quarantines came under scrutiny.

Measles is spreading across Arizona
In retrospect, many people questioned some of the government's Covid prevention measures. // Canva

Our government knew the Coronavirus spread quickly and that even some healthy individuals became seriously ill. In the absence of information, they implemented many protocols intended to keep the population safe.

READ: New CDC Guidelines for Covid Isolation Could Affect Arizona

In retrospect, some people have called the measures a gross overreaction. Others insist the measures did not go far enough. Essentially, we didn't know what we didn't know, and everyone was doing their best.

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Now we're fighting a very different virus is on the rise across Arizona. On this one, we have decades' worth of data on both the spread and a proven vaccine: measles.

Measles is spreading across Arizona
Measles vaccination is time-tested. In 2000, measles was considered eliminated in the US. It's now on the rise again. // Canva

Cases of Measles on the Rise in Arizona

Since 1971, people have routinely been vaccinated against measles in the United States.

READ: CDC Warns AZ Residents of Highly Infectious Disease Outbreak

The Mayo Clinic reports that in 2000, measles was considered eliminated in the United States. However, as of June 2024, the CDC has reported 151 cases of measles across 22 jurisdictions, including Arizona.

Most cases are among individuals who are either unvaccinated or those with an unknown vaccination status, a staggering 83% of cases.

83% of measles cases are people who are unvaccinated or have unknown vaccination status. // Canva

Arizona's Department of Health Services is sounding the alarm: vaccinations for measles across the state have dipped below the threshold for herd immunity, and the risk of spreading the virus is on the rise.

Why Measles Vaccinations are Falling

  • Decreased Vaccinations: vaccine rates have been falling since the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Misinformation about vaccinesVaccine hesitancy and misinformation spread through social media.
  • Global increase in measles: Decreased vaccination worldwide has led to more cases internationally.
Measles is spreading across Arizona
An infected person my not show measles symptoms for up to 21 days after infection. // Canva

People are opting out of vaccinations, including the measles vaccine, and it's leading to an increase in infections. According to the CDC, in 2024, 54% of measles cases required hospitalization in the United States.

A person infected with measles can start showing symptoms up to 21 days after exposure, which means the illness can spread to an unknown number of individuals before it begins to cause symptoms in an infected person.

Measles hospitalizations are on the rise. // Canva

The measles vaccine is time-tested, effective, and easy to get from a healthcare provider and is an important step toward stopping this preventable disease.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) | Mayo Clinic | AZ Department of Health and Human Services | Healthcare.Utah.edu | ein.az.gov | Wikipedia ]

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

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