Measles comeback caused by people not getting vaccinated
TENNESSEE - U.S. health officials are worried about a recent outbreak of measles.
The disease was eradicated in the United States in 2000, but it's now making a comeback. The outbreak has spread across 17 states. Dr. William Schaffner works for Vanderbilt Infectious Disease. He believes this problem could get out of control.
"Measles was a very serious disease before we had a vaccine," Dr. Schaffner warned. "400 or 500 children could die in the United States each year."
The outbreak has been caused by Americans who haven't been vaccinated traveling to other countries. They're catching it there and bringing it back with them. Health officials are worried because there's no way to tell how many people those infected have come in contact with.
"If you don't have documentation that you received the measles vaccine are you have not had measles yourself, you really truly should be vaccinated," explained Dr. Julie Reznicek with the Vanderbilt Travel Clinic.
Even if you don't want to get the vaccine, doctors say you need to for everyone else who you may come in contact with.