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Measles

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Measles cases are on the rise. The CDC reports there have been 159 cases so far this year including an ongoing outbreak linked to a megachurch in Texas… where 20 members have come down with the highly contagious virus.

"We have been averaging about 60 cases a year and so seeing 159 cases is concerning," says Dr. Anne Schulchat.

Measles can be serious and can lead to pneumonia or even death, although in industrialized countries most just get a rash and a fever. Because of high vaccination rates, measles are now rare in the United States. Almost all of the cases this year were linked to people traveling from overseas who spread it here.

The largest outbreak this year was in Brooklyn, New York with 58 cases. None of the patients were vaccinated because of religious and philosphical beliefs or because some were too young to get the shots.

Some communities still refuse immunizations because of a discredited report that linked the vaccine to autism. Health officials say everyone should be vaccinated.

"Making sure your children are vaccinated and up to date is important to protect them and those around them."

Most Americans have gotten the message - the CDC says 99% of children get vaccinated.

The second largest outbreak was in North Carolina with 23 cases. 

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