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Measles Outbreaks Worry Health Officials

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A nurse uses a syringe to prepare an injection of the combined Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination at an MMR drop-in clinic. (Photo: GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)

A nurse uses a syringe to prepare an injection of the combined Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination at an MMR drop-in clinic. (Photo: GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images)

CBS St. Louis (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSStL.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSStL.com/Health

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show there are more cases of measles this year in the United States than any other year since 1996. So how are we doing in Missouri and Illinois?

Out of the 159 cases of measles reported so far this year, three were in Missouri, none in Illinois.

The CDC’s Dr. Jane Seeward says there is a simple solution to stop the spread of the highly contagious disease. Get vaccinated.

“Unvaccinated people put themselves and others at risk of measles and its complications,” she said. “Vaccinations are the most effective strategy to making sure children in the United States and the communities they live in are protected from serious disease.”

Seeward said a lot of times unvaccinated people who travel abroad, pick up the disease and bring it back to the United States.

Measles infected and killed hundreds every year in the United States during the last century, but elimination efforts drastically reduced the risk. Since 1997, less than 1 person in a million people reported catching the disease.

So far this year sixteen states reported measles cases.

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