JACKSON, Miss. — There has not been a case of the measles in Mississippi for several years, but for other states this year has been the worst for the disease since 1996. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) 129 people in 13 other states have been infected with measles in the last 4 months. The disease believed to be brought in by international travelers and at least 84 percent of those infected had not been vaccinated.
“For the 79 million children born in this 20 year period, vaccination over the course of their lifetime will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 730,000 early deaths,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.
In the U.S., Mississippi and West Virginia are the only two states where parents cannot exempt their children from getting vaccinated before starting school unless it is for medical reasons. Mississippi has one of the highest rates of childhood immunization in the country