Largest Measles Outbreak in 15 Years in US

214 children have contracted measles so far this year in the US in the largest outbreak of the infectious disease in 15 years. Public health officials believe that international travel and not enough people being vaccinated against the disease are the cause. While US vaccination rates for measles are 90 percent, higher than in Western Europe, Africa, and Asia, the controversy over the MMR vaccine being somehow connected to autism — a claim that has been soundly refuted by scientific studies — has led to parents choosing not to vaccine their children, or to delay vaccination.

The MMR-autism controversy ballooned over the past decade since a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, claimed that he had found a link between the vaccine and autism, the neurodevelopment disorder. Even though the journal, The Lancet, has retracted the study in which Wakefield published his findings, and public health officials, scientists and many in the autism community have spoken out about there being no connection, suspicion about the MMR has stayed in the public mindset.

The rise in cases of measles — a deadly and disabling disease that is easily transmitted — is in part due to this unfortunate controversy. The US has seen about 60 to 70 cases of measles reported annually in recent years; the 214 cases so far this year are alarming. Among those infected, 86 percent were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status. 13 percent who contacted measles were under a year old and had not yet received the vaccine, which is first given to children aged 12 to 15 months and then again when a child is four or six.

An unvaccinated high school student who contracted measles while aboard started one outbreak in the US:

As a result, nine people became infected, costing about $300,000 to contain the outbreak. Costs included infection control in two area hospitals and intervention by local and state health departments. In the outbreak, 12,000 people were contacted about possible exposure and quarantining 184 people, including 51 students.

757 cases of measles have been reported in Canada as of October 5. 18 people who had traveled aboard were again the source of the outbreak. 505 of the 757 reported to have contracted measles unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status.

So if you are traveling aboard, make sure you and certainly your children are vaccinated — measles is highly contagious and, if an unvaccinated child is exposed to it, he or she will probably get the disease. For every 1,000 children who contact the disease, one or two die.


Related Care2 Coverage

Vaccines Donít Cause Autism, Are Generally Safe

The Next Billion: Measles Immunizations Reach Milestone

Washington Parents Most Likely Not to Vaccinate Children


Photo of a child with measles by Dave Hargarth


William Y.
William Y5 years ago

Nicole P. says, "I will not put chemicals into my body. I am not a chemical factory."

Do you eat and breathe? If you do you are putting chemicals into your body. The body is a chemical factory, all the natural body functions involve chemicals & chemistry. Respiration, anabolism, catabolism, nerve functions, the kidneys plus the hormones produced in the endocrine glands, all involve chemical reactions.

Nicole P.
Nicole P5 years ago

I know one thing. I will not get a flu shot this year, and I don't care if my boss wants to force me into it. I will not put chemicals into my body. I am not a chemical factory. I really don't believe all the hype about vaccination's supposed benefits. However, I tend to believe that autism cases are probably linked to this. This has been the medical industry's way of making sure we are brainwashed into believing in their so called miracle drugs. It is a fact that a child who is not been fed dairy and meat and grows on a whole plant based diet is a lot less likely to contract some of the common diseases that other kids have. Do your research people, don't believe the brainwashing.

Jennifer M.
Jennifer M5 years ago

I also wanted to add something. If 90% of the country is vaccinated, what are they so afraid of? Do you not have faith in your precious "miracle" vaccine? Isn't that vaccine supposed to protect you from the disease? I mean, if it actually worked, there would be no outbreak. Just sayin...

Jennifer M.
Jennifer M5 years ago

Either way, I'll still take my chances. You can't blame an outbreak on an unvaccinated kid! How many of the kids that got whooping cough in California were vaccinated? Over HALF, and they still got it. I don't care about the supposed autism and MMR vaccine link, I care about hydrolized gelatin, chick embryonic fluid, and human diploid cells from ABORTED FETAL TISSUE. Yes, these are in the vaccine. It's the toxins and heavy metals that worry me, not an autism link. There's no way I would inject my child with that stuff. Vaccines are not fail-safe. If you have a healthy child, even if they do get measles, there's an extremely good chance they won't even have to be hospitalized. I'm sure this isn't the case for the child who is fed chicken nuggets 4 times a week, so a healthy lifestyle is key to a healthy immune system.
I sure hope that this doesn't scare moms into getting any vaccine without fully researching it first. If you want to vaccinate, that's your choice, but PLEASE, don't do it blindly! Know what you are injecting into your children, they deserve it.

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

Oh yes, almost forgot due to the stupidity of that word, aboard instead of abroad. But, did want to say that there is nothing wrong with getting the MMS vaccines, they are not dangerous, it is much more dangerous to get the disease (as I know because of being old enough to have lived through the time before the vaccine) and anyone who does not vaccinate their children is not only stupid but dangerously neglectful of their children's lives and doesn't care if their children live or die. That's the bottom line. Be immunized or Be dead if exposed. Your child, still your choice for your child, but there is only one smart and loving choice.

Past Member
Past Member 5 years ago

"travel aboard"... twice you wrote "aboard" instead of abroad. Unless you meant to say "travel aboard a boat" or aboard a train, etc., in which case you merely left out all of the means of travel that someone may board for travel, I suggest you change the multiple occurrences of that misuse/misspelling. To do it once catches the attention of the reader and pulls her out of the story; to do it two or more times in the exact same article with the exact same spelling makes one think that the writer and organization are extremely inept and can not be trusted.

Helena Plum Bowyer
Helena B5 years ago

Pete M: Stop your multi nationals bleeding other countries dry and you might have fewer immigrants.
Here in the UK we pay tax and National Insurance, which pays for our National Health Service. We also pay these these taxes to pay for our pensions. If you miss 5 years payments you do not receive your pension.
Multi Nationals are bleeding the US dry. They pay little tax and the absolute minimum wage they can get away with, whilst Directors earn over 100x the wages of the average worker in the same company. The same story is being played out worldwide.
Another reason you have so many foriengers is because your education system is poor, and companies cannot recruit the skills they need. The result is a country like India which has a strong education system paying to educate their citizens who then move to the US to do your IT programming

Helena Plum Bowyer
Helena B5 years ago

Whatever your opinion/thoughts on vaccination, people should have the choice for themselves and children to take the shots or not.
Many people here have a very strong opinion about Dr. Wakefield and his research, but it does appear that many of you have not read it. In brief, children coming to him with autism had in the main very serious bowel problems. When your body becomes saturated with toxins, brain function becomes impaired. He started treating the bowel infections, improving the quality of life of the patient and improving mental function. Now on any other subject, most likely he would be congratulated on finding of way to reduce some of the symptons of autism. No instead a private reporter (not someone from the medical profession) accused him of putting out false claims, behaving in an unethical manner in how he collected his results, which was linked to his ties with an alternative vaccine. The Lancet and British Medical Assosiation have never refuted his findings, he was found guilty of infringing the rights of the children. This despite the fact that parents did not complain. No parents were allowed to give evidence at this trial.
There are many other studies about the risks of vaccines, which I think most people would agree should be widley available in order that we can make risk assessments.
Did you know for example that the Swine Flu shot made by Baxter uses a new technique which has been rushed through for permission off the back a a Swine Flu 'epidemic'

Demian v.
Wendy V5 years ago

How perfect? Now by telling everyone how serious this is it will convince folks who aren't sure about the benefits of vaccines to 'go for it'... Look I'm not an expert on vaccines but of what I've read you have to ask yourself why 'they' put all that other stuff in it? Why add all those dangerous, poisonous/toxic chemicals? Is it really necessary?

Why can't 'they' get it right? If you are going to fix a problem, then fix it proper, not sort of. Or at least treat folks correctly and come up with a long-term solution. Why is it that when 'they' want to they get it right, when there's enough motivation and incentive then it's perfect. I mean look at the Mars program, the 'Rovers' are still doing their thing. What's interesting is that they were designed to only work for 6 months to year, yet years and years later they are still functioning. Now why can't 'they' do the same for mankind.

There's an agenda to treating babies and children with poison, there's definitely long-term benefits for the Medical Franternity and there's major financial benefits for the Pharma. Industry... Once again we see how keeping people sick or making people sick is motivated by greed and not by 'their' supposed Hippocratic Oath, it's more like the Hypocratic Oath... This vaccine controversy is founded. As they say..."If there's smoke, there's fire".

pete M.
peter m5 years ago

spelling correction,
We must stop the influx of people from many countries.
I can tell you i know of many people that are bleeding our country dry.
They come here from many countries(england) for one and work 5 years go back to their homeland and collect social security for life.
I know people that worked 50 years and collect just a few dollars more than these damn thieving foreigners.
I mean many more countries than England but in England they have full medical care we pay through the nose. They go home and laugh at us.
England Egypt Russia Many assorted from South America, Tunisia, Indonisia,
we are being ripped off and our social benefits we paid for are being stolen.
We must stop the immigration we have been allowing.
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