HHS Secretary Azar Releases Statement on Measles Outbreaks

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Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Alex Azar issued a statement this week about the outbreak of measles, now diagnosed in more than 700 cases across the country.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed outbreaks in 22 states. Symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected and typically include high fever, cough, runny nose, and a rash of flat, red spots.  Available data do not indicate that rural areas are more or less affected, but the CDC’s national surveys that monitor vaccination coverage have identified that unvaccinated children are more likely to be uninsured, live below the poverty level, and live in rural areas. Many may not know about the CDC’s Vaccines for Children Program that serves children up to age 18 who are uninsured or underinsured, or who receive care through Federally Qualified Health Centers or Rural Health Clinics.  Adults who are unsure of their measles vaccination status should consider getting the updated Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

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