NIU hosts STEM presentation about measles outbreak

DeKALB — NIU will be hosting a STEM event Tuesday to provide information on the sudden outbreak of measles. Measles was declared eradicated in 2000, but measles outbreaks are now at a new high, with more than 1,100 confirmed cases in the United States in the first half of 2019, according to the event's webpage.

The speaker, Cindy Graves of the DeKalb County Health Department, is a registered nurse and director of Community Health and Prevention with the department and will be answering questions about immunization facts, what's happened to those who haven't been vaccinated and why the public should care.

Even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available, in 2017, there were 110,000 measles deaths globally, mostly among children under the age of five, according to the World Health Organization. In 2017, about 85% of the world's children received one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday, and measles vaccination resulted in a 80% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2017 worldwide.

Illinois requires all students to be vaccinated against measles and other diseases, including polio, chickenpox and tetanus. The World Health Organization recommends a 95% measles vaccination rate or higher to create herd immunity, or to stop the spread of contagious diseases within a population. With NIU being in the middle of the flu and fever season, this presentation would be very informative for students and locals to DeKalb.

The event will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fatty's Pub and Grill, 1312 W Lincoln Highway.

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