Back in 2000, measles was eliminated in the US, but it's back. A Pew study finds people are trusting in the measles and rubella vaccine.
"It's probably due to the large number of measles cases and outbreaks that we've seen all across the United States in the past year," said The Immunization Partnership president and CEO Allison Winnike. "When people see it first hand, they then increase their confidence in the measles vaccine because they see that folks who were vaccinated were protected during these outbreaks."
In Texas, there were 22 cases last year. Winnike said there should have been none.
Last month, the Austin Public Health Department has confirmed a case of measles in Austin. It was the first case of measles in Austin, since 1999.
Measles is one of the most contagious and dangerous diseases on the planet – if 100 people in a room are exposed to it, 90 of them will get sick.
All public-school students are supposed to be fully vaccinated but many states, including Texas, allow parents to exempt their children. Yet in Texas, where the number of vaccine exemptions has increased 28-fold since 2003 and the threat of a serious outbreak looms, the Legislature voted against making vaccination data for schools accessible to parents.
Measles occurs in unvaccinated people who are in areas where vaccination rate is too low. Measles has been a problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo where vaccine rates are low with more than 300,000 people contracting the deadly disease in 2019 and 6,000 died.