Measles outbreak in England prompts calls for vaccinations

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ME health officials confirmed the first case of measles in the state, bringing the total number of states reporting the highly contagious viral disease to 25.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 4.9 percent increase in the number of measles cases from May 10 to May 17 in an outbreak that has now reached 24 states. It was reported that unvaccinated residents returning to the US from places such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines, where a large number of measles cases are occurring, caused the majority of the outbreaks in the country.

Most of the new cases were in New York, CDC spokesman Jason McDonald said, with 21 cases recorded in New York City and nine in Rockland County.

Although the disease outbreak did not originate in Americans - it was either brought to the U.S. by travelers from or Americans returning from countries like Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines - and spread like wildfire among unvaccinated communities, and beyond. Adults should get vaccinated for measles if they did not receive the two doses as children.

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"Of most concern are people who have not been vaccinated, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals", the health department said in a statement. The US topped the charts, with 2,593,000 youngsters not receiving their first measles dose over the eight-year-period.

State epidemiologist Ben Chan says the child had an unusually strong reaction to the measles or MMR vaccine which exposes the body to a weaker, non-contagious version of the measles virus.

Measles can kill and it is incredibly easy to catch, especially if you are not vaccinated.

Medical officer of health Dr Annette Nesdale said anyone who was at the party or those businesses could be at risk if they are not immune.

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Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can lead to serious health complications - including infections of the lungs and brain - and is sometimes fatal. The County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency offers vaccinations for infants, children, teenagers, and adults.

Experts warn that the outbreak is not over as the number of cases approaches the 1994 total of 958. It is spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes.

The MMR vaccine is given on the NHS as a single injection to babies, as part of their routine vaccination schedule, usually within a month of their first birthday.

The recommended two doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles, while one dose is about 93% effective.

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