Measles is a highly contagious disease that used to be common in young children. Due to the development of vaccines, however, it’s been almost eradicated. Almost, because there are several communities in the United States that still experience a high rate of measles infections. Mostly the outbreaks come as a result of unvaccinated children coming into contact with a person who has measles. It’s contagious a few days before spots or symptoms begin to show, so it can be spread before a person knows they have it.
In the first four months of 2018, there were 60 cases of measles reported in the US. They occurred in 16 different states. As of July 14, 2018, that number rose to 21 states and 107 reported cases. (see the CDC report here)The trend will likely slow down during warmer months but could go up again in the winter when people spend more time indoors. While there was initially concern about the safety of the measles vaccine, the one study that connected autism to the MMR shot was discredited as fake science. Still, many parents have stopped getting children vaccinated, and this has caused the disease to come back into play. Measles is not just an annoying respiratory illness; in some children it can be very severe. It's also a significant cause of child mortality in some countries.