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Top 10 Facts About Measles Outbreaks Through the Years

Image: Top 10 Facts About Measles Outbreaks Through the Years
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By    |   Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 09:32 AM

Measles, a viral disease, has been around for centuries, leaving serious symptoms and death in its wake. Vaccines in recent decades caused it to diminish, but it has been making a comeback in the U.S. and other countries.

Here are 10 facts about measles outbreaks that have occurred throughout history:

1. One of the first written accounts of measles was published by a Persian doctor in the 9th century, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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2. The earliest known U.S. outbreak, which caused very few deaths, was in 1657. A Boston resident simply wrote in his diary, "the disease of measles went through the town."

3. In 1693, Virginia Gov. Edmund Andros called for a "day of Humiliation and Prayer" following a measles outbreak.

4. Cotton Mather, the Puritan minister, lost his three children and his second wife to measles in 1713. According to The History of Vaccines, he wrote, "the Measles coming into the Town, it is likely to be a Time of Sickness, and much Trouble in the Families of the Neighborhood."

5. In 1757, Scottish physician Francis Home demonstrated how measles was the result of an infectious agent in the blood of patients, according to the CDC.

6. Measles crippled both sides of the Civil War in 1861, making troops succumb to illness or death. A report stated: "This infection is always serious, often fatal either directly or through its sequela. The Prognosis therefore should be guarded."

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7. In 1878, a measles outbreak struck the Yuma tribes in southern Arizona, killing many children, according to The History of Vaccines.

8. Measles became an officially reported disease in the U.S. during a 1912 outbreak. Healthcare providers and laboratory researchers reported an average of 6,000 measles-related deaths each year in the first decade of recording, reports the CDC.

9. Cases of measles dropped dramatically following the introduction of the vaccine in 1963. A decade before, 3 to 4 million people in the U.S. were infected each year with measles. An estimated 400 to 500 died each year, according to the CDC.

10. Measles outbreaks in 2014 and 2015 rose significantly with hundreds of cases reported. There were more cases of measles reported in January 2015 than in all of 2012, reports Newsweek. Many people attributed the increase to the fall of immunization rates due to concerns by parents about the side effects of vaccines. Some cases were also imported.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Measles, a viral disease, has been around for centuries, leaving serious symptoms and death in its wake. Vaccines in recent decades caused it to diminish, but it has been making a comeback in the U.S. and other countries.
Vaccines, Measles, Facts, Outbreaks, Disease, Health
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2015-32-11
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 09:32 AM
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