CDC: Measles Cases at Highest in Almost 20 Years

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By Karla Danica Figuerres | May 5, 2014 2:42 PM EST

Before measles immunisation was available, almost everyone in the U.S. got measles. In fact, an average of 450 measles-related deaths were reported every year between 1953 and 1963. Just recently, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that many people are now infested with measles in the United Sates throughout the first four months of this year compared to the first four months of the past 18 years.

According to the data released and reported recently, there is a drastic increase of measles epidemics. According to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 13 outbreaks and 129 cases have been verified this year as said by the health officials. 

The most cases of measles came from California with 58 cases from January 1 to April 14, making it the highest number since 1995. Report from CDC says that many of the California cases are because of the people visiting the Philippines, which is facing a very large number of measles occurrence and there is at least 20,000 verified and suspected cases that have been reported in the Asian nation.

Maybe another reason why the measles outbreak rose is doctors' lack of alertness about this. "Because of the success of the measles vaccine, many clinicians have never seen measles and may not be able to recognise its features," Dr. Julia Sammons published in a commentary released recently in Annals of Internal Medicine.

One of the most transmittable infectious diseases is measles. People infected by measles can have fever, cough and conjunctivitis, along with a rash. In the U.S., up to 20 per cent of patients with measles are hospitalised and 17 per cent of measles cases have had complications such as diarrhoea, ear infections, pneumonia and encephalitis, which results in brain damage.

Last 2005 was the last report about the death because of measles in U.S., says Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunisation and Respiratory Diseases.

Vaccination in U.S. is very successful because it stopped a projected 323 million illnesses and 732,000 deaths. Widespread vaccination of measles led to a 99 per cent reduction of morbidity compared with the pre-vaccination era.

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