CDC: Measles Outbreaks Seen in Unvaccinated Children

August 25, 2008

Recent measles outbreaks in the United States have primarily occurred among unvaccinated school-aged children, often after exposure to people from other countries with ongoing outbreaks, according to a report published in the Aug. 22 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Recent measles outbreaks in the United States have primarily occurred among unvaccinated school-aged children, often after exposure to people from other countries with ongoing outbreaks, according to a report published in the Aug. 22 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated an earlier report on measles in the United States and summarized two recent outbreaks that occurred among unvaccinated school-aged children.

The researchers found that 131 measles cases were reported during the first seven months of 2008 from 15 states and the District of Columbia. They found that 80 percent of patients were under age 20 and that 91 percent were either unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status. They also found that 89 percent of cases were either imported from or associated with importations from other countries -- especially Europe -- where outbreaks are ongoing. The states with the highest number of cases were Illinois (32), New York (27) and Washington (19).

"The measles outbreaks in Illinois and Washington demonstrate that measles remains a risk for unvaccinated persons and those who come in contact with them," the authors write. "Each school year, parents should ensure that their children's vaccinations are current, regardless of whether the children are returning to school, attending day care, or being schooled at home. Adults without evidence of measles immunity should receive at least one dose of MMR [measles, mumps, rubella] vaccine. All persons who travel internationally also should be up-to-date on their measles vaccination and other vaccinations recommended for countries they might visit."

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