Doctors urge vaccination as number of measles cases increases across United States

43 cases of measles confirmed in Michigan

DETROIT – Doctors are urging people who travel outside the United States and those who live in areas affected by the measles outbreak to get vaccinated.

The number of confirmed measles cases in Michigan stands at 43. The state lab tested several samples Monday, but they all came back negative.

That's not the situation nationwide, where the outbreak continues to grow.

On Monday, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said diseases such as the measles belong in the history books, not the emergency room.

The number of measles cases nationwide is the highest it's been in 25 years, with 704 cases reported in 2019, according to the CDC.

"The reason there's only 700 cases, as opposed to 70,000 or 700,000 cases, is because of the vaccines that we have," Dr. Frank Esper said.

Most of the current cases are of unvaccinated people in areas such as in New York state, which has reported 474 cases so far this year, experts said.

Proposed legislation in New York would end all nonmedical vaccine exemptions in that state, including ones based on religion.

"You have a First Amendment right to practice your own religion, but you do not have the right to endanger your children, or worse, other people's children," New York Sen. Brad Hoylman said.

A mother in England had the same message as her country experiences a similar measles outbreak.

Jilly Moss posted photos of her infant daughter on Facebook. Baby Alba was too young to be vaccinated, but caught the measles and had to be hospitalized.

"It has been absolutely horrific watching our daughter fight this," Moss wrote. "The truth is, this all could have been prevented if the protection layer of older kids above Alba had been vaccinated."

Measles can cause a high fever, rash pneumonia, brain inflammation and death.

CDC experts said they expect to see more cases before the outbreaks are contained. Many of the outbreaks were triggered by Americans being exposed during foreign travel or by visitors coming from overseas.

The top countries from which imported measles cases are coming are Ukraine, Israel and the Philippines.

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