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Measles March: Nebraska Stands Strong Against the Outbreak Surge

Updated: Mar 27

Lincoln, NE - As measles cases surge across the United States, Nebraska remains vigilant. With 45 reported cases in 16 states and New York City, compared to 58 cases in all of 2023, the state has not seen a case since 2017. However, questions persist among parents.

Dr. Matthew Donahue, Nebraska State Epidemiologist, emphasizes the importance of vaccination. "The MMR vaccine remains the best defense against measles," he states. "We urge Nebraskans to ensure their vaccination records are up to date and to consult their healthcare provider for any concerns."

Measles, a highly contagious respiratory illness, spreads through respiratory droplets. Symptoms include fever, cough, red/runny eyes, runny nose, and a rash. Before the vaccine's introduction in 1963, measles was endemic, causing thousands of hospitalizations and fatalities annually.

Today, vaccination has significantly reduced the severity of measles cases. While outbreaks have occurred in other states, Nebraska has seen only five cases in the last decade. The MMR vaccine, administered at 12-15 months and 4-6 years, is safe and 97% effective.

"Vaccination not only safeguards individuals but also protects vulnerable populations," Dr. Donahue emphasizes. "If you suspect exposure to measles, contact your healthcare provider immediately."

Let's continue to prioritize vaccination to safeguard our communities against preventable diseases.

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