Skip to main content

Measles Outbreak

Posted Date: 4/09/24 (8:06 AM)

Dear Parent/Guardian/Staff,

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a concerning measles outbreak across 17 states in the United States. As of March 21, 2024, there are 64 confirmed measles cases in the U.S., compared to 58 total cases reported for the entire year of 2023. Among the cases reported in 2024, over 90 percent were linked to international travel, and most have been among children aged 12 months and older who had not received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious viral illness. The virus spreads through coughing and sneezing and can live for up to two hours in an airspace after an infected person leaves an area. A person can spread measles without knowing they are infected.
Herd immunity, achieved through a measles vaccination rate of 95% or more, is crucial for preventing disease outbreaks in the community and protecting vulnerable populations who cannot receive vaccines. Statewide, the MMR vaccination rate among kindergarteners in Missouri has dropped steadily from 95.4 percent in the 2016-17 school year to 90.5 percent at the start of the 2023-24 school year, according to preliminary data reported by Missouri school districts. Religious (non-medical) exemptions have simultaneously increased from 1.9% to 3.5%.
The measles vaccine, given as part of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, is extremely effective, giving those vaccinated with just one dose 93% protection against measles infection. Both doses of the vaccine provide individuals with a 97% protection rate throughout their lifetime. 

If your child has not been immunized against the Measles, we encourage you to call your pediatrician or your local health department to get vaccinated as soon as possible. For more information, including county-specific information about vaccination and exemption rates, visit Health.Mo.Gov/Measles.

Thank you!
LCR3 Health Services Team