2013 on track to have worst Measles outbreak in years

By Alyssa Donovan

September 16, 2013 Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 7:42 PM CDT

There have been 4 confirmed cases of Measles this year in Illinois and more than 150 nationwide.

At this rate, officials at the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention say, 2013 is on track to have the most cases of Measles in 17 years.

The Measles disease was thought to be wiped out more than a decade ago but for the past few years cases of measles have been on the rise.

Tazewell County Health Department's Sara Sparkman says those who choose not to vaccinate are putting others at risk.

Sparkman said, "A lot of those are from people that are traveling to other countries and then coming back with the disease. But unfortunately than they spread it to people who have not been vaccinated."

The CDC reports there were 159 cases of measles in the U-S this year from January first through August 24th.

And if that trend continues, 2013 will have the most cases since 1996.

Local health officials say the increasing number is due to people refusing to have their children vaccinated.

Sparkman said, "Some people choose not to for religious reasons and some people choose not to for fear they choose it's a philosophical decision.”

Doctor at OSF Medical group, Molly Lundy, says some people are also concerned about studies that link the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine to autism.
Dr. Lundy says these studies have been proven wrong.
But the Doctor says Measles itself can be very dangerous.

Doctor Lundy said, "Anywhere between 20 and 40% can have complications like I said pneumonia, brain infections, but some kids can have more serious problems like blindness, brain infections is definitely a serious outcome and than less than 1% can result in fatality."

According to the CDC one to three out of every one-thousand children in the US who get Measles will die of the disease, even with the best care.

Dr. Lundy says side affects of the vaccine are very mild about 5% of kids can have a low grade fever and small rash. And recommends children get immunized.

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