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Concerns Over Measles Outbreak

HONESDALE — It’s been more than a decade since the Centers for Disease Control practically eliminated measles in the United States. Over the last co...
wayne measles 2-3-15

HONESDALE -- It's been more than a decade since the Centers for Disease Control practically eliminated measles in the United States.

Over the last couple of years the highly contagious illness has made a come back.

Since the start of the year the Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 100 cases have been confirmed in 14 states, including here in Pennsylvania.

"Measles has been one of those things that you kind of study about or read about. You don't really see it very often because of the success of the vaccination programs," said Dr. Meredith Hellstern. "Now that people are choosing not to vaccinate for whatever reason we are seeing a resurgence in certain cases."

Dr. Meredith Hellstern works at the Pediatric Practices office in Honesdale.

She said the outbreak has some of her patients concerned about getting the illness.

"We've been getting a lot of parents that are asking questions when they come in for well visits. They call and ask questions over the phone like if their kids have been properly vaccinated or if they need another booster."

"I'm pretty sure I had measles as a kid. I think we all did then."

It's been years since Errol Flynn of Honesdale had the measles shot. Doctors refer to it as the MMR vaccine.

He's concerned that a virus that went around as a kid is back, and spreading quickly.

"Apparently this is because so many people have declined to get their kids vaccinated which is a mistake in my opinion," Flynn said.

So far most of the confirmed cases of measles have been out west.

Doctors say even though its not spreading here, people here at home should still be concerned.

It's important that people realize that an outbreak is serious business. Just because it happens in California doesn't mean it can't reach the other side of the United states which we've seen it's in Pennsylvania now," Dr. Hellstern said.

Doctors recommend children get the vaccine after they are 12 months old.