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More Nevadans Are Getting The Measles Vaccine

Many more Nevadans are getting vaccinated for the measles this year.

In the first quarter of this year, the state’s measles vaccination rate jumped nearly 25 percent compared to the same time last year. Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker says the surge is due to all the media attention measles received after the outbreak linked to Disneyland back in January.

“It’s significant because we know that probably caused people to ask about their immunization status, where to go and how to access the MMR vaccine,” Parker says.

Now that the heightened media coverage is over, Parker says it'll be a challenge to get  people vaccinated because there's the public perception that the disease isn’t a threat any longer.

“We don’t see it every day, so it becomes something that we don’t worry about. Vaccines are kind of a victim of their own success,” Parker says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed nine cases of measles in Nevada this year.  Those were all based in Clark County. There were a few suspected cases in Washoe County, but those tests came back negative.

The disease can cause pneumonia, brain damage or even death.


Michelle Billman is a former news director at KUNR Public Radio.
Anh is a contributing editor for the KUNR news team and has been with the station since 2014. She is an alumna of the Boston University School of Public Health and Teachers College, Columbia University.