It appears that Montana could be the next target of a measles outbreak and officials are already taking measures. There have been more than 500 confirmed cases of measles in the Pacific Northwerst so far.
According to the Montana Department of Public Health of Human Services, the last confirmed measles cases from Montana took place in the 1990s. Those born before 1957 do not vaccination as they were already exposed to the disease and are immune to it.
However, for everyone else, vaccines are vital. “Just getting the vaccine alone is enough to prevent you from getting the disease. So, anybody who has not got the measles vaccine yet and they’re at least a year old should get it,” said Public Health Nurse Supervisor Shelly Maag.
However, the bad news is that in the past years there has been quite a movement against vaccines. Encountering anti-vaxxers has become more common unfortunately. Worse than that, there are many parents that make this decision for their children as well, which puts them at risk. In fact, there is good chance that this could be one of the reasons for this epidemy.
“People with certain health conditions can’t get the MMR vaccine and that’s why the other people should,” noted Maag, “because those people don’t have the option and if they got measles, it’s even more harsh for them.”
Officials urge all persons who haven’t been vaccinated yet to contact their medial provider. You can also contact the health department at 457-8900. You should also know that the LCPH offers walk-in immunization clinics on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 1930 Ninth Avenue in Helena. They are open from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m and you won’t need an appointment for them.