The number of measles cases last year was the second highest since it was eliminated back in 2000, according to the CDC, and the agency says it also recorded 24,000 cases of whooping cough.
Many parents are refusing immunization for their children, with a range of reasons such as religious and personal beliefs, to fear they may cause autism, though the CDC says there is no evidence linking the autism to vaccinations.
Doctors say some communities are beginning to see the effects.
“If we have pockets of under immunized or unimmunized people, we see outbreaks of diseases that we haven't seen in many decades,” explained Dr. Joe Domachowske, Professor of Pediatrics at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. “If you vaccinate enough people in the community, even if that infectious disease finds its way into your community and infects one person enough of the people are vaccinated so it doesn't spread any farther than that.”
The CDC estimates that 60 people get the measles each year, but says 189 people were reported with the disease last year.
Oregon has the highest numbers of unvaccinated kindergarteners at more than six percent, according to the CDC, while the agency reports that number is less than one percent in New York State.
Dr. Joe Domachowske said sometimes people can get sick after being immunized, but said like many things, vaccinations can’t always guarantee 100 percent safety.
For a list immunization exemptions, click here.