U.S. Centers For Disease Control said this year is on track to be the worst for measles in more than a decade. So what's bringing this disease back? It was declared eliminated in 2000. It was declared in 200. Doctor Jen Claude joined Good Day Philadelphia to talk about it.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It can be prevented by the MMR vaccine. The CDC recommends that kids get two doses -- the first at 12 months of age and the second dose before entering school.
There were 159 cases of measles in the United States from January 1 through August 24, according to the CDC. If that trend continues, there will be more cases in 2013 than in any year since 1996, when some 500 cases were reported. The number would also surpass that of 2011, when there were 222 cases.
According to the CDC, one to three out of every 1,000 children in the United States who get measles will die from the disease, even with the best of care. Even if complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis aren't deadly, they can make children very sick; in 2011, nearly 40% of children under the age of 5 who got measles had to be treated in the hospital.
Measles usually starts with a fever, which can get very high, followed by a cough, runny nose and red eyes. Soon a rash of tiny, red spots will start at the head and spread to the rest of the body. The rash can last a week and coughing can last for up to 10 days.
Among those who have been stricken with measles this year, 92% were not vaccinated or had unknown vaccination status. The largest outbreak was in New York, where 58 people contracted measles in a community where many refuse to be vaccinated for religious reasons.
Those who choose not to vaccinate put other people's babies at risk, since babies cannot be vaccinated until their first birthday, and are therefore vulnerable to the disease.
Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.