SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A top health official with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s a real threat.
By October, it’s anticipated that the United States will lose its measles elimination status it gained in 2000.
It comes as reported cases spike across the nation.
“Losing the elimination status of measles is an embarrassment,” said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Public health will be embarrassed.”
According to the CDC, there are currently no reported cases in the state of Utah.
It, however, may only be a matter of time before cases begin to surface.
“There’s a reason why we’re seeing these outbreaks because we’re starting to see people ‘oh, I don’t see the disease anymore,'” said Rich Lakin, the Immunization Program Manager at the Utah Department of Health. “‘I don’t need to get immunized. So, we really encourage people to get immunized for that particular reason.”
Now that school is back in session, ABC4 checked to see what type of policies are in place to monitor if teachers in local school districts are vaccinated.
After reaching out to multiple districts, Canyons and Salt Lake City School Districts responded. Canyons School District mandates, in the event of a communicable disease outbreak, “all employees are required to maintain a personal record of immunization, exemption, or proof of immunity.”
The policy is the same for the Salt Lake City School District.
If an employee can’t provide this documentation, they may have to stay home in the event of an outbreak or until authorized to return.
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