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CDC Is Monitoring a Measles Outbreak in 21 States

A nurse holds a vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at Boston Children's Hospital in BostonA nurse holds a vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is monitoring a measles outbreak in 21 states in which 107 people have contracted the disease, most of whom were unvaccinated.

The impacted states are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, along with the District of Colombia.

Measles symptoms include typical cold symptoms such as muscle pain, fever, runny nose, and sore throat coupled with a red blotchy skin rash. The disease is exceptionally rare in the United States but is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. The disease is often spread by travelers who bring the disease into the country and then expose others who are unvaccinated.

Some people who contract the disease can develop severe complications such as pneumonia and brain swelling that can lead to death.

There were only 118 cases of measles in the U.S. in 2017 and 86 in 2016.