Although the U.S. government declared measles eradicated in 2000, the disease still occurs and people refusing vaccinations may be partly to blame.
The CDC reported today that there were 71 cases of measles reported in the U.S. in 2009:
Thirty-three states reported no measles cases in 2009; 11 states and the District of Columbia reported fewer than 3 cases, and 6 states reported a total of 8 outbreaks (defined as 3 or more epidemiologically linked cases). Outbreaks ranged from 3 to 15 cases (median: 4). Seven outbreaks (87%) had viral and/or epidemiologic evidence of imported source. Six outbreaks (75%) included case-patients who reported personal belief exemptions. Of the 45 unvaccinated U.S. residents with measles in 2009, 20 (44%) held personal or religious beliefs opposing vaccination, and 10 (22%) were among children aged 15 months to 5 years whose parents had chosen to delay their MMR vaccination.
There were 1,191 cases of mumps reported in 2009:
The majority (90%) of mumps cases reported in the United States during 2009 were associated with a large outbreak focused in the Northeastern states (primarily New York and New Jersey) that began in New York in June 2009. A total of 1,776 cases occurred through December 31, 2009. The outbreak primarily affected adolescent boys in the Orthodox Jewish communities. Fewer than 3% of the cases associated with this outbreak occurred among persons outside this community. Most cases (77%) were among males and 36% were among adolescents aged 13 to 17 years. Among the patients for whom vaccination status was reported, 88% had received at least 1 dose of mumps-containing vaccine, and 76% had received 2 doses. This was the largest mumps outbreak to occur in the United States since 2006.
Given that the original scare about the MMR vaccine was found to be fabricated and that the MMR is an effective preventative measure against the spread of measles and mumps…