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Measles cases rise in the US

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that measles cases are on the rise in the United States, according to a report published by Cable News Network (CNN) this morning. Measles can cause death and the CDC recommends that young children get vaccinated.

The Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccination, according to the CDC, should be given before international travel to infants between the ages of 6 and 11 months. Otherwise, the MMR vaccination should first be given to one-year-olds and a second dose should be given between the ages of 4 and 6-years-old. Parents who are unsure if their young children are current on their child’s MMR vaccination should check with their doctor for a copy of the child’s immunization record.

On April 24, the CDC reported on their website that there were 20,000 cases of measles in the Philippines and some travelers returning to the US from the Philippines had gotten the measles. Most of these were young children who had not been vaccinated. Most measles cases in the US are in California.

The CDC reports that there is no connection between getting the measles vaccination and developing autism. In 1970 before the measles vaccination was introduced, there were 47,351 cases of measles in the US, according to a report published by Vincent Iannelli M.D.

In 1990 an MMR booster was introduced and by 2004, there was a record low number of measles cases.
In 2006, Jenny McCarthy appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and promoted her anti-vaccine views, which came from a 1998 study by Wakefield about MMR and Autism. This study got a great deal of media attention beginning in 2002. This study has been retracted.

According to the CDC, autism has been on the rise in the United States and “tend to occur in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions. The surveillance of this data goes back to the year 2000 when 6.7 per 1000 children were diagnosed. There was a slight dip in 2002 with only 6.6 children diagnosed per 1000. However, the number of sites reporting varied.

The best treatment for autism is early screening and early intervention to assist with development.