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Spot check on measles.

Spot check on measles

In 1958, the United States was bespeckled with nearly 800,000cases of measles. Although that number fell by half the following year, real gains in controlling the disease didn't come until after the licensing of a vaccine in 1963.

Although the cases reported in 1986 represent only a fractionof those prevalent in prevaccination days, the total more than doubled from the previous year. A total of 2,822 cases were reported in 1985, compared to more than 6,200 reported in 1986, with no deaths recorded, according to the May 29 MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT. This is the highest figure of any year since 1980, when 13,506 cases were reported.

New York City alone accounted for 945 reported cases,followed by New Jersey with 911 and Illinois with 710. More than half of all cases originated from 10 outbreaks of more than 100 cases each. The highest incidence was among children less than 5 years old, who accounted for 40 percent of all cases in 1986.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC), whichpublished the report, cited two major reasons for the increase in cases: unvaccinated preschool-aged children and vaccine failures in school-aged children. If more preschoolers had been properly vaccinated and other preventive measures had been taken, 36 percent of last year's cases could have been averted, according to CDC. In addition, revaccination during selected outbreaks may be a strategy to combat vaccine failures.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 13, 1987
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