Is your community prepared to defend itself against viruses like the measles?

Measles virus creeps back into the United States

The winter may be on its way out, which also means that the chance of catching the flu is on the decline, but Americans aren't out of the dark quite yet. Regardless of the season, people could get sick from extremely contagious viruses like the measles, according to the Boston Globe.

"If you aren't immune (from vaccination or having had measles) and you are exposed, you have a 90 percent chance of getting measles," Dr. Claire McCarthy wrote. "The virus can live in droplets [from coughs or sneezes] on surfaces for up to 2 hours."

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that measles was no longer a problem in the United States in 2000, people who don't have the vaccine may contract it overseas. NBC affiliate KSBY in California reported that last month, there were 15 reported cases of measles — affected persons were between five months to 44-years-old. The Golden State accounts for about 25 percent of all confirmed cases.

Parents can do their part to prevent such a widespread problem from happening by vaccinating their child at 12 to 15 months old and again when they're 4 to 6 years old. Health care professionals recommend doing this to avoid an outbreak, but it is not required.

However, a CBS affiliate in Hawaii noted that health care practitioners can choose not to accept unvaccinated individuals into their practice to protect the health of other patients. Reporters spoke to a local pediatrician who only accepts vaccinated children.

Concerned that your community will become the next victim to measles or other viruses? Business continuity consultants can help identify gaps in your town's strategy, as well as provide tips to strengthen plans for the future.