Measles: Once eliminated, on the rise again - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Measles: Once eliminated, on the rise again

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A deadly disease doctors eliminated from the United States 13 years ago is once again a public health concern, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Numbers released by the CDC Thursday show an increasing number of parents are choosing not to get their children vaccinated against measles.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus, according to the CDC. It can result in serious health complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis, and even cause death. Measles kills more than 100,000 children in the world each year.

"In the year 2000, it was deemed eliminated, which means that basically that we didn't have it circulating in our population. So, the only cases that are showing up are the outbreak cases that you're seeing now where an individual comes from an area where it's endemic and then brings it into the United States," said Dr. Shane Speights, St. Bernards Vice President of Medical Affairs. 

According to the CDC, there were 159 measles cases in the U.S. from January 1, 2013 to August 24, 2013. Since the disease was eliminated, the highest number of cases occurred in 2008 with 140 cases, and 2011 with 220 cases. 

Researchers say if the trend continues, cases in 2013 will surpass the number of cases in 2008 and 2011.

"When we look at certain surveys and sample sizes the biggest reason people are giving why they're not getting vaccinated is for philosophical reasons or religious reasons," said Dr. Speights.

In the CDC report, nearly two thirds of the cases came from outbreaks in communities where people chose not to vaccinate in the name of religion or personal philosophy.

"Obviously, it's a still a personal choice. A parent or caregiver makes that choice for themselves and their child. It really should be an educated and informed choice though."

Dr. Shane Speights advises talking with a trusted medical professional about the vaccine.

"I would really hesitate for those individuals that want to just listen to a blog site or hearsay. Really this a conversation you need to have with your healthcare provider," said Dr. Speights. "It's important to know that this disease is largely one we don't have to have because if you'll just get the vaccine you'll be protected."

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Region 8 News</span><a class="customMoreLink" href="/Global/category.asp?C=4391" target="_top">More >></a>Region 8 NewsMore>>

  • Man dies after car overturns several times

    Man dies after car overturns several times

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 5:19 AM EST2018-02-20 10:19:56 GMT
    Tuesday, February 20 2018 6:42 AM EST2018-02-20 11:42:25 GMT
    (Source: AP Graphics Bank)(Source: AP Graphics Bank)

    A Neelyville man is dead after a crash in South Missouri Sunday night.

    A Neelyville man is dead after a crash in South Missouri Sunday night.

  • Rural Resurgence: Keeping small towns alive

    Rural Resurgence: Keeping small towns alive

    Monday, February 19 2018 11:11 AM EST2018-02-19 16:11:53 GMT
    Monday, February 19 2018 5:42 PM EST2018-02-19 22:42:57 GMT
    Wilson square (Source: KAIT)Wilson square (Source: KAIT)

    It's no secret rural Arkansas is struggling. From schools closing to infrastructure to population, many towns can’t stay afloat.

    It's no secret rural Arkansas is struggling. From schools closing to infrastructure to population, many towns can’t stay afloat.

  • FBI, CART continue search for missing autistic teenager

    FBI, CART continue search for missing autistic teenager

    Saturday, February 17 2018 12:46 PM EST2018-02-17 17:46:31 GMT
    Monday, February 19 2018 10:44 PM EST2018-02-20 03:44:01 GMT
    Ashton Talley (Source: Mississippi County Sheriff's Department Facebook page)Ashton Talley (Source: Mississippi County Sheriff's Department Facebook page)

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies are in Mississippi County helping to search for a missing 18-year-old special needs autistic student as law enforcement continues to follow up leads on the whereabouts of the student. 

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies are in Mississippi County helping to search for a missing 18-year-old special needs autistic student as law enforcement continues to follow up leads on the whereabouts of the student. 

Powered by Frankly