An outbreak of measles, touted as the biggest since 2001 has gripped United States. About ten states are grappling the onslaught, which has left 72 people ill, most of who had not been vaccinated against the illness.
According to The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 people have been hospitalized. Fortunately, no deaths have taken place.
Sixty four cases were reported between January and April this year. Eight more cases of children with the condition have been reported. The children had not received the measles jab.
The recent outbreak brings back memories of the virulent measles attack during 1989 to 1991, which left 55000 ill and 123 dead.
Measles is dreaded in the poorer nations as a significant cause of death in children. The disease that triggers cough, fever, eye irritation, and a rash can also give rise to life threatening health complications like encephalitis and pneumonia. Annually, about 250,000 lives are lost worldwide due to the disease.
Public health officials underlined the importance of vaccination. They advised people to not fall a victim to religious beliefs. Research and ample evidence has established the safety of these vaccines and its association with autism is unfounded, health officials reiterated.
Voicing concern, Jane Seward of the CDC's division of viral diseases said, "We are concerned ... about the population of people who are choosing not to be vaccinated, and whether we may be on the verge of facing larger-scale outbreaks in the United States."