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HHS HealthBeat (January 8, 2014)

Measles at bay

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Parents are doing a fine job of keeping measles at bay. Researchers say high vaccination rates have kept measles as well as rubella eliminated for over a decade. Elimination means the diseases only occur when the viruses are imported from another country.

But researcher Mark Papania of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that this is no reason for parents to let their guards down. He says many other countries still harbor measles. The outbreaks that occur after importations are an important reminder that measles is still a threat.

“There are so few cases of measles and rubella in the United States because people get their kids vaccinated. Measles is an extremely infectious disease, and cases continue to be imported into the United States every year.”

The study is in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Learn more at

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

Last revised: January 8, 2014