By Staff – 3 Feb ’15
With a growing, multistate outbreak of measles linked to a famous California amusement park, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is urging families not to take vaccinations for granted.
“The current outbreak is spreading, including to the neighboring state of Nebraska, Colorado and Utah,” said Dr. Wendy Braud, state health officer and Public Health Division senior administrator with WDH. “If the outbreak continues to grow, it’s possible we could see measles in Wyoming.”
A case of measles has not been reported in Wyoming since 2010, largely because of vaccinations, according to a release from the WDH.
“Vaccines prevent diseases such as measles and save lives,” Braund said. “Because vaccines have been effective in making so many diseases uncommon, they may be taken for granted by some people. When you don’t have experience or familiarity with a disease, you may be less likely to see the need for immunization.”
Braund said those most at risk of being infected with measles are people who have had no doses or only one dose of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine or who have not had the measles.
“Thankfully, the vast majority of Wyoming children are appropriately vaccinated before they begin school, which is required in Wyoming,” Braund said.
The WDH says they use a combination of federal and state dollars to cover the costs of all required childhood vaccines for residents, as well as for some recommended vaccines. For more information, visit www.immunizewyoming.com.