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HHS HealthBeat (December 27, 2011)

Spotting spreading measles

A young girl gets a vaccine
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Measles is one of the most infectious viral diseases there is, so it can spread very quickly among unvaccinated people. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Paul Rota has been studying measles outbreaks in Europe. One tool uses genetic information on the virus to track its spread. Dr. Rota says the tracking showed the ability of the virus to spread quickly in unvaccinated populations.

“The more people who are vaccinated in a community, the less the infection can spread. It’s also important to remember that the vaccine used to prevent measles in the U.S. also prevents rubella and mumps.” (9 seconds)

Most states require two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine before a child starts school.

An article on measles is in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: December 27, 2011