2013 already one of worst years for measles in over a decade - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

2013 already one of worst years for measles in over a decade

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According to health officials, 2013 has already seen enough cases of measles to make it one of the worst years for the disease in over 15 years.

Before the measles vaccine, almost all children got the disease by age 15, and almost 500 Americans died from it each year. With the vaccine, the country sees about 60 cases every year.

However, 2013 has already seen 159 cases. The highest number of cases the country has seen since the mid-1990s was in 2011 with 222 cases. It was believed that the disease was eradicated in 2000, but recently the numbers have risen.

While most young children are vaccinated against the disease, outbreaks can occur, especially when the virus is picked up by travelers abroad and then spread amongst unvaccinated people back in the United States. Almost two-thirds reported cases have been traced back to three outbreaks that occurred in communities where vaccinations are not common due to religious or philosophical reasons.

Almost all of 2013's cases have been linked to travelers.

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