Number of measles cases rises - WKRN News 2

Number of measles cases rises

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the first time in more than a decade, the United States is seeing confirmed cases of measles and the Volunteer State is no exception.

In 2010, there were no measles cases reported in the state of Tennessee.   So far this year, the state has already investigated three cases, all of which were linked to overseas travel.

Dr. Kelly L. Moore is with the Tennessee Department of Health.

She told Nashville's News 2 the disease could be making a comeback due to the decrease in the amount of people vaccinated in countries such as Europe in recent years due to a study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

In 1998, Wakefield claimed he had discovered a link between the measles vaccine and autism.
 
"It turns out that this doctor was lying and that he had made up his information, but it took us many years to find that out," Moore said.  "In the meantime, he frightened a lot of people and many people in Europe avoided the vaccine because of this fear."

Currently, Europe is facing a measles outbreak, with thousands of people infected by the contagious disease and it is finding its way back to the United States.

Moore said that she encourages everyone to get vaccinated against the illness as soon as possible.

"It's the most contagious virus out there in the world today. If you walk into a room up to two hours after someone with the measles walked out of that room you could catch the measles," she explained.

The state health department suggests parents to talk to their child's pediatrician before traveling this summer, especially if traveling overseas.

Adults are also encouraged to receive two doses of the measles vaccine if they haven't in years past.

Read more about the measles and the measles vaccination online at CDC.gov/Measles.

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