March 28, 2019

How to protect yourself and others from measles

Elizabeth 'Libby' Richards Elizabeth 'Libby' Richards, assistant professor of nursing. (Purdue University photo)
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WHAT: The Marion County Health Department is now warning residents of possible exposure to measles at two Indianapolis businesses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 314 individual cases of measles in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington. The CDC updates the data on a regular basis. 

EXPERT: Purdue University assistant professorElizabeth “Libby” Richards of the Purdue School of Nursing researches population health, public health nursing, as well as health and wellness programs. She can talk about the importance of vaccinations, vaccination rates, the impact of not getting a child vaccinated, the importance of booster shots and keeping one’s vaccinations up to date. 

QUOTE: “Measles, a highly contagious disease, was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000 due to successful vaccination programs. However, vaccine rates started to decline shortly after due to a fabricated study stating a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and autism. Since then, numerous studies have proven the effectiveness and safety of the MMR vaccine. It is very clear that there is no connection between vaccination and autism,” Richards said.

“Those most at risk of measles and related complications are the very young, the very old and those with compromised immune systems. Complications include pneumonia, brain swelling and possible brain damage, and death.” 

MORE INFORMATION

  • Registered nurse and certified health education specialist (CHES).
  • Faculty associate, Center on Aging and Life Course.
  • Faculty partner, Center for Families.
  • Chair, Physical Activity Section of American Public Health Association
  • Chair, Policy & Advocacy Committee of the Indiana Public Health Association

Writer: Matthew Oates, 765-496-2571, oatesw@purdue.edu; @mo_oates

Source:  Richards, erichards@purdue.edu

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