Measles on the rise, reported in Illinois - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Measles on the rise, reported in Illinois

ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

There's new warning about measles, one of the most contagious infectious diseases out there.

The Center for Disease Control reports there have been more cases reported in the last four months than have been infected in the first four months of the past 18 years.

So, what's behind the outbreak?

The CDC said the disease is spreading at a pace not seen in 20 years. There have been outbreaks in 13 states, including Illinois.

One-hundred twenty-nine cases have been reported, with over 30 in the land of Lincoln.

Symptoms usually include fever, cough and conjunctivitis, along with a rash.

So what's behind the out break?

Leah VanHam, the public health nurse at the bi county health department says it in -part because children are not getting vaccinated.

"Eighty-four percent of the U.S. cases report that they were either not vaccinated or they are not sure of their vaccine status," VanHam said.

She said the best way to prevent the spread of this disease is to get vaccinated.

"It is senseless to put a child through that and vaccine has been more than proven to be safe," she said.

Which is why Anita Peterson, mother and grandmother of one said if there is any preventative measures out there, her family will use it.

"To make my child safe and ultimately to make the other children safe and finally to make the teachers safe, i would like to know that those kids are vaccinated," Peterson said.

To further reduce the spread of measles the CDC recommends that all U.S. residents born after 1956 ensure that they are still immune to measles or receive a new MMR vaccination.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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