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Biggest measles outbreak in U.S. since 2001
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16:18, May 02, 2008

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The biggest U.S. outbreak of measles since 2001 in 10 states have led to more than 70 cases so far this year, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said none of those who caught the highly contagious viral illness has died, but at least 14 people have been hospitalized, most with pneumonia triggered by measles.

So far this year, the CDC has confirmed reports of 72 cases in 10 states.

Most of the cases have been traced to outbreaks overseas and are mainly in children who were not vaccinated for religious or other reasons or were too young, according to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention.

Public health officials have been stressing the importance of immunizing children in the face of increasingly vocal groups who object to vaccines for religious reasons or because they think the shots may cause autism or other problems.

Since measles vaccinations began in the early 1960s, cases have dramatically declined in the U.S.

Source: Xinhua/Agencies

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