The MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella) vaccine is said to have almost eliminated the threat of the measles in the U.S. in 2000. However, a new outbreak has put the number of recent measles cases in this country so far this year at the highest number seen in 20 years.
According to the Huffington Post, "90 percent of the cases were among people who had either not been vaccinated against the measles, or it was unknown if they had been vaccinated." Babies too young to be vaccinated are also among those infected.
"There were 288 measles cases reported between Jan. 1 and May 23 of this year, which is the most measles cases reported in this time period since 1994," reports the Huffington Post. "In nearly all of the cases — 97 percent — the virus was contracted abroad in one of at least 18 other countries and then brought the virus back into the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported." The 288 cases have been spread across 18 U.S. states in total.
A large outbreak of measles in the Philippines in October 2013 is reportedly to blame for a large strain brought to the U.S through travel overseas, including from a group of unvaccinated Amish missinaries from the U.S.
Measles can cause ear infections or pneumonia in a child. The disease is highly contagious as it can be spread through merely breathing. It can also cause typical cold symptoms including cough, runny nose and fever. Rashes and pink eye are additional symptoms.