CDC: Depending on age, you may need booster for protection from measles

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The agency had warned that the U.S. would likely exceed that number, which was the record high reported after the year 2000, within weeks.

Measles in the US has climbed to its highest level in 25 years, closing in on 700 cases this year in a resurgence largely attributed to misinformation that is turning parents against vaccines.

Measles is not a harmless childhood illness, but a highly contagious, potentially life-threatening disease.

The CDC reported 695 measles cases as of April 24, which marks the highest annual total since US health officials declared the disease eradicated in 2000. "A single dose of measles vaccine protects about 95 percent of children, but after two doses, nearly 100 percent are immune", Michigan's health department said in a press release.

Most of the cases have emerged in communities with low rates of vaccination, fueled by anti-vaccine messages, many times posted on social media.

"This current outbreak is deeply troubling", said CDC director Robert Redfield in a statement where he called on health care providers to assure their patients about the safety and efficacy of the measles vaccine.

Symptoms include fever, runny nose, watery eyes, white spots in the mouth, and eventually, a red spotty rash on the face and body.

The resurgence, which public health officials blamed in part on the spread of misinformation about the safety of vaccines, has been concentrated mainly in Washington state and NY with outbreaks that began late past year.

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"However, there are pockets of people who are vaccine-hesitant", Messonnier said. That would make 2019 the worst year for measles since 1994.

"This is the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated from this country in 2000", the CDC said in a statement.

According to the SunSentinel, a measles case was reported in both Broward County and Pinellas County.

As measles spreads through pockets of unvaccinated individuals and outbreaks grow, public health officials have been struggling to curb transmission in individuals who are not vaccinated. Los Angeles county health officials said four of the cases are linked to one another after global travel, and an additional single case of measles also occurred after worldwide travel.

Sacramento County public health officials are encouraging anyone 12 months or older to get immunized against measles with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

According to WHO preliminary global health data from April 15, reported cases during the first three months of 2019 rose by 300 percent compared to the same period in 2018.

The state also has set up a hotline to answer citizens' questions about measles. One dose is about 93% effective at preventing measles if you come into contact with the virus. "With the second dose you're 97%", Storey explained. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but there is a "remote chance" of side effects and even serious injuries.

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