Measles Are Back: Key Q and A on Disease, Vaccinations

Posted by K R on

The battle against measles in the United States was considered won 15 years ago. Starting in 2000, virtually all new cases of measles came from abroad, and the disease was no longer regularly seen in the U.S. But around 60 people have contracted measles in the U.S. since just last month—most of them at two Disney theme parks in California. Parents of children that are too young to be vaccinated are being told to avoid those parks, and the state's department of health is warning other Californians who are unvaccinated to avoid public places that might draw international travelers. The outbreak has renewed criticism of the anti-vaccine movement, which is relatively popular in Orange County, where Disneyland is located. At some schools in the county, as many as 60-80 percent of students had missed at least some of their vaccinations. There have been other scattered measles outbreaks in recent years, including one among unvaccinated Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, New York, in 2013. Infections usually get carried to the U.S. by people who catch them in other countries—although investigators aren't sure exactly who started the recent outbreak—and then the disease spreads. As the current outbreak continues, here are some basic questions and answers about the disease and vaccinations: How do you get the measles? Answer via Nat Geo.

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