Pittsburgh & San Francisco: Sister Measles Cities

Not to be outdone by San Francisco, Pittsburgh joined the 2014 measles club after atleast 1 case was diagnosed here.

The facts surrounding the case in Pittsburgh serves to reinforce some important points about measles:

1. Measles is extremely contagious: the case patient in Pittsburgh traveled on public buses. As measles can infect 90% of those exposed that are susceptible to infection, secondary cases are to be expected.

2. Measles is a world traveler the couldn't resist one of the nation's most livable city: the case patient traveled to New York and was exposed to someone who contracted the disease overseas.

3. High vaccination rates are needed for herd immunity: because of its marked contagiousness, communities need to have vaccination rates above 90% to halt transmission.  Children under 1 year of age are a group too young to be vaccinated and are reliant upon herd immunity for protection, as are those whose vaccine failed to provide full immunity.

Hopefully this case will prompt those who have deferred or declined vaccination to seal some holes in the Pittsburgh herd's immunity. Next up should be our potholes.