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Measles cases at highest level in nearly 20 years

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It looks like the measles virus has certainly striked big these past four months. According to the CNN website, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that more people have been infected with measles in America from January to April of this year than in the first four months of the past 18 years. Data released Thursday reveals a dramatic rise in the measles outbreak.

According to the CDC's Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, 13 outbreaks and 129 cases have been recorded this year. California is reporting the highest numbers, with 58 cases from January to April 14. That's the most measles cases in the state since 1995. The CDC says many of the California cases comes from their residents visiting the Philippines, which is also experiencing a very large measles outbreak.

However, another factor in the large measles increase is the lack of awareness among doctors. "Because of the success of the measles vaccine, many clinicians have never seen measles and may not be able to recognize its features," Dr. Julia Sammons writes in a commentary published Thursday in Annals of Internal Medicine.

For more information on this interesting story, visit the Health page on www.cnn.com.

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