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Cases of Measles making a slow come back

A disease that was once knocked out of the United States is slowly appearing again.  Measles, a disease associated with a fever and a rash, is creeping back into the states even though health officials said in 2000 that the disease was eliminated.

The problem, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the disease hasn’t been controlled in other countries so travelers are bringing the disease back to the U.S.  So far this year 13 cases of ‘imported’ measles have popped up.  Those cases tend to spread.

In Minnesota, for example, there are 15 confirmed cases of measles.  That outbreak was caused by two children that came to the U.S. from Kenya and India.   Because the disease spreads easily if a person is not vaccinated, those two cases turned into 15.  Of those, eight people had to be hospitalized to deal with the symptoms brought on by the disease. 

All but one of the people that contracted the disease had not been vaccinated, either because they were too young or their parents never followed through with the regimen of shots needed to block the virus.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, measles can be a serious disease.  Complications such as pneumonia and brain infections can be side effects of measles.

Importance of Vaccinations
Children should receive two rounds of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.  The first should happen when a child is one year old, and then again when a child is between the ages of 4 to 6.  However, it is never too late to get a vaccination. 

In the decade before the vaccination an estimated 3-4 million people in the U.S. were infected each year.  Up to 500 of those infected died.   The invention of the vaccine and the compliance rate in the years to follow led to a 99% reduction in measles cases in the U.S.