Importance of MMR Vaccination to Prevent Public Health Threat

Measles, mumps, and rubella are viral diseases that can have serious consequences. Before vaccines, these diseases were very common in the United States, especially among children. They are still common in many parts of the world, and both adults and children can contract the disease if unvaccinated.

Over the weekend, through testing from the State Hygienic Lab, a Northeastern Iowan was confirmed to be infected with measles. This is the first case in Iowa since 2011. The individual was unvaccinated and recently returned from Israel, where measles transmission is occurring.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (2019), the individual has cooperated with public health officials. Public health officials are following up with potentially exposed persons to ensure they are vaccinated against measles. At this time the state health department claims there is no indication of any threat to the public but emphasizes how this serves as a reminder for all Iowans to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date.

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About Joelle Stolte, PhD
Joelle Stolte, PhD, is the Program Chair and Assistant Professor in Public Health at Mercy College of Health Sciences. Prior to coming to Mercy College of Health Science, Dr. Stolte worked for both state and local public health (Iowa Department of Public Health and the Polk County Health Dept.). While working full-time in Public Health, Dr. Stolte also taught as adjunct faculty at Des Moines University, and Walden University for their Masters of Public Health and Health Care Administration programs.