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Delaying Measles-Related Vaccines: Seizure Risk?

Researchers say findings emphasize importance of following timing guidelines

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Seizures in young children are common, said Dr. Geoffrey Weinberg, professor of pediatrics at University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y.

"They occur in as many as 2 to 5 percent of children by age 5, most commonly at 16 to 18 months of age," Weinberg said. "They can be very scary and often result in medical care visits, but, for the vast majority, have no long-term effects."

Whatever the risk of seizures, Weinberg said it's important to get babies immunized on time so they'll be protected against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. These potentially serious childhood diseases are very contagious.

As of May 9, 2014, 187 people in the United States have been diagnosed with measles this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said that's "the most measles cases reported in the first four months of the year since 1996." Most of those sickened hadn't been vaccinated.

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