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CDC: Measles cases in the U.S. hit 15-year high

Consumer Reports News: May 25, 2011 12:23 PM

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says it's seeing a dramatic rise in the number of measles infections in the U.S this year. As of May 20, it reports 118 cases of measles, a triple-digit level that hasn't been seen since 1996.

The health agency said cases of the highly infectious disease were reported in 23 states. And while none of the patients died, about 40 percent of the cases required hospitalization.

The increase is not because of problems with the measles vaccine, which remains effective and widely available. Instead, it may be that more parents are opting against the vaccine. The CDC noted that 90 percent of the cases reported so far this year were in patients who had not been immunized.

The CDC and health experts at Consumer Reports says everyone should keep up to date on personal vaccinations. That's especially true if your summer vacation travel destinations include areas of high health risks. Also see our advice on preventing and treating measles.

Sources

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (WWMR): Measles - U.S, Jan. to May 2011 [CDC]
CDC: Measles cases on fastest pace since 1996 [Forbes]
U.S. Measles Cases Hit 15-Year High [National Public Radio]
Record Measles Cases In 15 Years, USA [Medical News Today]

Paul Eng


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