Measles Cases Highest in a Decade
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ATLANTA — Measles cases in America are at the highest level in more than a decade, with nearly half of those involving children whose parents rejected vaccination, health officials reported yesterday.
Some worried doctors are troubled with the trend that is fueled by unfounded fears that these vaccines may cause autism. The number of cases is still small, just 131, but that is only for the first seven months of the year. There were only 42 cases for all of last year.
“We’re seeing a lot more spread. That is concerning to us,” Dr. Jane Seward, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Pediatricians are frustrated, saying they are having to spend more time convincing parents the shot is safe.
“This year, we certainly have had parents asking more questions,” an Austin, Texas, physician who is a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Ari Brown, said.
The CDC’s review found that a number of cases involved home-schooled children not required to get the vaccines. Others can avoid vaccination by seeking exemptions, such as for religious reasons.
Measles, best known for a red skin rash, is a potentially deadly, highly infectious virus that spreads through contact with a sneezing, coughing, infected person.