“This current outbreak is deeply troubling, and I call upon all health-care providers to assure patients about the efficacy and safety of the measles vaccine, CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a press release. “And I encourage all Americans to adhere to CDC vaccine guidelines in order to protect themselves, their families and their communities from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. We must work together as a nation to eliminate this disease once and for all.”
The recent outbreaks started through importation, the CDC said. Measles is imported by unvaccinated travelers who visit a country where there is widespread measles transmission, get infected and return to the United States. They can then infect others here who are not vaccinated.
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The CDC said bad information, spread through social media, has played a significant role in parents turning away from vaccinations. It pointed to the now-debunked theory that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine is linked to autism.
Earlier this month, New York City declared a public health emergency and instituted mandatory vaccinations in certain ZIP codes after hundreds were sickened.