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Measles Outbreak Rises to 64 Cases, Most Since 2001
Date:5/1/2008

et vaccinated. Twenty-one others were 16 months to 19 years old, and 14 of those children had not been vaccinated due to religious or personal beliefs or had missed their vaccinations, Schuchat said.

For those measles patients older than 20 years of age, 14 had undocumented vaccination status and two had gotten the disease in Europe.

Among the 64 patients, 14 were hospitalized and none have died, according to the CDC.

Schuchat said it's especially important to be sure that your measles immunization is up to date if you are traveling outside the United States. "Measles is an ongoing risk," she said.

According to the CDC, measles is an infectious viral disease that occurs most often in late winter and spring. It begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). A rash starts on the face and upper neck, spreads down the back and trunk, then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades in the same order it appeared.

While measles itself can be unpleasant, the complications are potentially dangerous. Six percent to 20 percent of people who get the disease will get an ear infection, diarrhea, or even pneumonia. One of every 1,000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and about one out of 1,000 will die, the CDC said.

More information

For more on measles, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



SOURCES: May 1, 2008, teleconference with Anne Schuchat, M.D., director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; May 2, 2008, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC


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