5 Crucial Lessons From The Recent Measles Outbreak

April 1, 2015 12:04 PM

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5 Crucial Lessons From The Recent Measles Outbreak

While the United States is overwhelmingly vaccinated against preventable viruses like measles, mumps and rubella (on account of them coming altogether in one shot), there are certain pockets around the country where vaccination rates are dipping below the 95 percent needed to maintain herd immunity. These under-vaccinated communities, coupled with travelers bringing the measles over from other countries, have resulted in an unusual amount of measles cases -- 644 cases over 23 outbreaks in 2014, and in 2015 to date, 178 cases over four outbreaks. These numbers represent the greatest levels of measles that America has ever seen since measles was first eradicated from the country, in 2000.

The size and scope of the biggest outbreak this year, which links 131 cases to exposure at the Disneyland theme park last December, has focused the nation’s attention like a laser to the tiny communities scattered around the U.S. that have chosen to skip vaccinating their children, without medical j...

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