It's happening in Charlottesville, Va., but could a measles outbreak happen in Connecticut? As more parents are choosing to not vaccinate their children, the likelihood rises.
Media outlets report the Virginia Department of Health is warning people of the threat of exposure, after a woman who contracted the disease in India had contaminated two other people.
Measles, a childhood disease, was all but eliminated in 2000. But it's having a banner year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 127 cases of measles in the U.S. in the past five months alone. Cases of measles have been reported in 15 states and more than 40 percent of patients who'd contracted it had to be hospitalized.
Unvaccinated children in the U.S. who travel abroad are the most likely to be infected and spread the virus. According to the LA Times, in 2008 an unvaccinated boy – whose parents had chosen not to vaccinate him or his siblings -- caught the measles in Switzerland. He brought it stateside, infecting his siblings and schoolmates. According to the Times, "The outbreak forced about 70 children to be quarantined at home."
Measles, a respiratory disease, is highly contagious. More than 90 percent of unvaccinated people who come in contact with persons carrying measles will contract it. Symptoms are common (runny nose, coughing, sneezing, red, watery eyes) and the most contagious period of time occurs before the rash breaks out.
For more information, go to the CDC website.