- The Washington Times - Friday, December 6, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 175 cases of measles so far this year, a significant spike that’s attributed largely to the failure of those infected to get vaccinated, medical professionals said.

The 175 cases, including 20 hospitalizations, is roughly three times the number of measles cases that are normally seen each years, said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, in USA Today. The largest outbreaks have hailed from Texas, North Carolina and New York, he said.

But don’t blame the vaccination for the spike in measles cases. More than 98 percent of those diagnosed with the disease didn’t get vaccinated, he said.

“This isn’t the failure of a vaccine,” Mr. Frieden said, in USA Today. “It’s the failure to vaccinate.”

Officially, measles has been eliminated in the Western Hemisphere — meaning, it doesn’t circulate among the population with ease, but the disease filters in through the borders.

USA Today said the nation sees about 60 “imported” cases of measles each year, from those who enter the borders with undiagnosed measles — that are then left untreated. Combine that with a rising number of parents who have been reluctant to vaccinate their children against the disease, and the number of cases have soared, CDC said.


• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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