Credit: crossstudio, Thinkstock
Credit: crossstudio, Thinkstock

Under the auspice of "everything old is new again", the childhood disease measles is making its way back here in the U.S.  It's one of those illnesses that we've all but forgotten about until now.  

What is measles?  According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body. About three out of 10 people who get measles will develop one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is concerned that it may become an epidemic, so has asked the CDC to make the measles vaccine free and widely available.  The most recent outbreak of measles has infected at least 102 people in 14 states.  There were more than 600 cases reported last year.  The vaccine and booster for adults are covered by most insurance policies.  To find out more, contact the office of your Primary Care physician.