1 in 8 kids in America are at risk for measles, study finds

New research presented at Infectious Diseases Week in San Diego highlights the dangers of not vaccinating all children for measles, according to a report from HealthDay.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta and was led by Robert Bednarczyk, PhD, an assistant professor of global health and epidemiology.

Dr. Bednarczyk's team examined national immunization surveys from 2008 to 2014. They found that of the 70 million children under the age of 17 in the U.S., nearly 9 million lack immunity to measles, or roughly one in eight children.

According to Dr. Bednarczyk, roughly 92 percent of the population must be immune to measles to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, including infants. Currently, the vaccination rates for elementary school students is near the 92 percent mark, but is lower than that for preschool children, a statistic David Kimberlin, MD, called worrisome.

"If measles vaccination rates decline further and pass below the threshold required for community immunity, it is certain that measles will establish a foothold again in the U.S. and that American children will suffer," Dr. Kimberlin told HealthDay.

Dr. Kimberlin is a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was not involved in the study.



More articles on measles:
Measles vaccine safe, 12-year Kaiser Permanente study confirms
Health professionals have mixed reaction to GOP's debate on vaccines, autism
US records first measles death since 2003

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