AL health authorities urge measles vaccinations - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AL health authorities urge measles vaccinations

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Alabama health authorities are urging vaccination as parts of the country deal with an outbreak of measles. (Source: MGN) Alabama health authorities are urging vaccination as parts of the country deal with an outbreak of measles. (Source: MGN)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Alabama health authorities are urging vaccination as parts of the country deal with an outbreak of measles.

The Centers for Disease Control reports 187 cases of measles so far in the U.S.

Those cases have been reported in Alabama and 16 other states.

Alabama reported a single case of measles, while five have occurred recently in West Tennessee and 68 people have gotten infected in Ohio.

That's disturbing news for health professionals who considered the contagious infectious disease eliminated in the U.S. in 2000.

For most of the last decade, the nation was seeing only about 60 cases a year. But since 2010, the average has been nearly 160.

The case of measles in Alabama involved a person from a foreign country who contracted the disease and brought it into the U.S. when entering the country in South Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health monitored the patient's contacts and no one else got infected.

Dr. Karen Landers is the director of the state immunization program.

She says young children are risk of contracting measles if they're not properly immunized.

"What we're seeing and worried about is people declining to get their children immunized," said Landers.

The CDC says for every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die.

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