Why is measles back in the US?


Measles is back in the United States. This completely preventable disease was eradicated in 2000, but has returned in the last decade. More people have had measles in the first three months of 2019 than in all of 2018. But outbreaks are not occurring across the US – they are happening in specific groups of people.

Misinformation against vaccination may lead to a drop in the number of immunized children. And when fewer children are immunized, a community may lose its "herd immunity." When this happens, especially in small, cohesive communities, measles can spread like wildfire. Seventy-five percent of all recent measles cases have occurred in these small communities.

For everyone to be protected from measles, everyone who can be vaccinated must do so. But most states allow parents to stop vaccinating their children for any philosophical reason – and that is allowing measles to resurface.

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