Man’s case shows measles is still a threat



November 26, 2019 - 10:39 AM

It is one of the most effective ways to protect our health: herd immunity. By vaccinating the vast majority of people in a population, we can guard against the spread of potentially deadly infections. When we allow this collective immunity to dissipate, the results can be devastating — sometimes even for people who have been vaccinated. Just ask my patient J.

J.’s ordeal began with a routine dinner at an Italian restaurant in Culver City, Calif., in October. A few days later, his wife called me with the news of a possible measles case at the restaurant the same day. I wasn’t worried because J. had attended Los Angeles public schools, which require vaccinations, and a key vaccine such as MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) would not have slipped through the cracks.

A few days later, J.’s wife called again. He now had a low-grade fever but no rash. It seemed likely that the measles exposure was a coincidence, but we both were concerned.

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