Vaccination Rate for Kindergartners Is Over 90%
But CDC Study Shows Immunization Rates in States Are Still Below U.S. Goals
Measles Cases on the Rise
Nationwide, there are also concerns about a rise in measles, largely driven by infections originating in other countries where measles rates are much higher.
Over the first five months of this year, 118 cases of measles have been reported nationwide, the highest number reported for the period since 1996. Forty percent of the cases required hospitalization.
About 90% of these cases were imported from other countries, including 34 cases among unvaccinated U.S. residents traveling abroad and 12 among foreign visitors to the U.S.
"Measles is much more common in other countries. France has a big outbreak right now," Rodewald says. "People who travel to other countries with an unvaccinated child may bring back measles and that child may infect other unvaccinated children."
That is what happened in San Diego in January 2008, when an unvaccinated 7-year-old infected in Switzerland spread measles to 11 other unvaccinated children.
While the current numbers are far below pre-measles vaccination levels, measles cases so far this year are already double that seen annually earlier in the decade, when the norm was around 60 cases a year, Rodewald says.