Number of United States measles cases tops 800

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It comes as the United States experiences one of the worst years for measles since 1994 and since the disease was eradicated from the country in 2000.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said 23 states have reported cases this year. Brooklyn and Rockland, New York; Oakland, Michigan; and Clark County, Washington, located in southern part of the state, were among the hardest hit.

The study's lead author, Sahotra Sarkar, a philosophy and integrative biology professor at UT Austin and an expert on public health, explained: "For measles, most experts believe that there will be one to two deaths per 1,000 cases, most likely infants". Last week saw 75 more cases of the disease, bringing the total to 839 so far this year. But New York has the biggest outbreak, accounting for nearly 700, or more than 80 percent, of the cases nationwide. Cases in those states occurred primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities. A few years earlier, he'd founded the Children's Health Fund to bring health care to New York City's poorest areas.

Also Monday, New York City closed a ninth school for violating an emergency health order.

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The best way to protect against the disease is to get the measles-mumps-rubella shot (MMR) shot. "The vaccine avoidance problem is not limited to measles".

Babies between 6 months and 12 months should be vaccinated before global travel or if they live in a community experiencing an outbreak.

Babies who are traveling to or living in an area with an ongoing outbreak who have had a first dose at 12 months to 15 months do not need to wait until age 4 for that second dose; rather, they can and should get it anytime after 28 days from the first vaccination.

The Florida Department of Health urges all residents to get at least one dose of the MMR vaccine, and recommends worldwide travelers, health workers and people with weakened immune systems get an additional dose.

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