Intended for healthcare professionals


Measles: two US outbreaks are blamed on low vaccination rates

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 21 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l312
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

Measles outbreaks on the east and west coasts of the United States have been blamed on low vaccination rates and imported cases. Over 200 cases have been reported, including several hospital admissions but no deaths.

Most cases have occurred in people who have not been vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR vaccine) or who have not received the two recommended doses, at ages 12-18 months and 4-6 years. Most states allow parents to use religious reasons to opt out of vaccinations that are required for day care or school attendance, but 18 states allow parents to opt out for philosophical reasons.

Global health threat

Measles kills about one child in 1000, and the under 5s, over 20s, and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk.1

The World Health Organization has listed …

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