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Continued Measles Outbreak Could Lead U.S. To Lose Its Measles Elimination Status

According to CDC if the current rate of measles cases continue unabated then US could soon its status of being a nation that has eliminated the disease. The fresh cases which have emerged in Rockland County and New York City region has pushed up total number of confirmed cases to nearly 1000 as there are 971 confirmed cases since early this year. This shows the highest number of cases in US within one year since 1994 and could undo all the hard work done by health officials in US to eradicate the disease since 2000.

Before invention of MMR vaccine during early 1960’s diseases like Measles, mumps and rubella used to affect more than 3-4 million every year and also caused death of nearly 400-500 of them. After the introduction of vaccine into the market measles cases started plummeting and while the first mumps vaccine was launched in 1967, rubella vaccine was launched in 1969. Combination of rubella, measles and mumps was introduced by Merck in 1971. Unfortunately the World Health Organization has also reported an increase of nearly 300 % in these diseases during first quarter of this year when compared to data of last year.

In view of this alarming rise in cases CDC has urged parents of infants and small children to get them vaccinated and protect them as all three are highly contagious and could spread simply by breathing the same air in which a sick person has sneezed or coughed. According to CDC Director Robert Redfield this situation could have been prevented if parents would have vaccinated their children and would not have carried away by rumors that it causes autism. He insisted that by not vaccinating their children parents were exposing them to more health risks. This is because measles virus leads to rashes on the body and if left untreated it could several complications like pneumonia and brain swelling.

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