Why Are There So Many More Measles Cases This Year?

By Alana Gomez, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – With the total number of statewide measles cases already at nearly six times the annual average, doctors fear the rise will only continue.

Locally, two reported cases this week brings Massachusetts’ number to 17. Nationally, there are 118 people who’ve been infected. That is the highest number since 1996.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports.

The trend is worrisome to local doctors, who say the spread can be contained if more parents vaccinate their children.

But, pediatricians say they spend more and more time convincing parents of the necessity of immunizing their kids.

“’Do vaccines cause autism,’ and that’s always the question,” said Dr. Ben Kruskal, a pediatrician and director of infection control at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates.

Dr. Kruskal says extensive research in the U.S. and internationally has repeatedly proved the safety of vaccinations. He says the benefits outweigh any risks by far. Dr. Kruskal is also worried that along with an outbreak of measles we will see other diseases pop up that are completely preventable.

“Many communities across the country where parents have raised major concerns and created lots of local furor over vaccines have low vaccination rates and have had lots of outbreaks of infectious diseases, including for example, whooping cough,” said Dr. Kruskal.

Health experts say there is no link between the local cases and they don’t know the source. Dr. Kruskal worries that could mean there are more cases out there that haven’t been reported yet.

“It’s so distressing, it shouldn’t be happening, we have tools to prevent this,” said Dr. Kruskal.

  • Jimi

    It’ all Jenny McCarthy’s fault.
    And I’m not kidding.
    Vaccines don’t cause autism, but Jenny McCarthy does cause measles.

  • Kelly

    really people its called a MMR shot get one.

  • carol

    READ MORE information about how immunizations suppress the immune system and can cause ALOT more than autism!!

    • Jimi

      No, Carol – YOU read more. Read more verified science and less quackery.

      Vaccines are safe. There are minor risks, which science has proven time and again do not include autism, and those risks are FAR outweighed by the benefits of preventing and eliminating childhood diseases which WILL kill your children.

      Those who listen to washed up Playboy Playmates and quack doctors who have ulterior financial motives, and choose not to vaccinate their children, are the real threat. They are putting everyone else’s children at risk.

      TRUST your pediatrician! Your children’s health is their priority, and the idea that they are a part of some grand conspiracy to benefit big pharma is as rational as the idea that Saturday was the Rapture.

      • Darbol

        Your wrong Jimi. The MMR Vaccins is not 100% and even if it is does prevent the disease it does not give life long immunity. Measles is alot more serious when contracted as an adult or elderly person. Measles if not that dangerous when contracted by a child that is healthy and will give life long immunity. You need to read more and stop listening to people who have a confilict of interest that are advising vaccines. I personally think that the risks associated with the vaccines are more dangerous than the disease itself. Why are the parents of vaccinated children worried anyway if their child is vaccinated and they believe in them so much ?

    • the voice of reason

      Carol, READ MORE about how fertility drugs and food additives are more likely culprits for causing autism! The MYTH that their is a vaccine-autism link has been de-bunked. The whole rumor got started because some quack wanted to make money selling separate vaccines in place of the combined MMR. My guess is that YOU had an MMR, and are not autistic….as would be the case of most parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. They got their childhood vaccines and lived normal lives, but are willing to risk complications of diseases and even the DEATH of their child because of misinformation. RESEARCH THE DISEASES and decide if you would want your children to suffer THOSE consequences. Educate yourselves about the real facts, for pete’s sake!

  • taylor

    I totally agree with Jimi. I admit, I was a little nervous about vaccinating because you hear so much controversy about autism and the link with vaccines. However, I did some research and read Dr. Sears book. He made some good points about the risks of these diseases and instead of not vaccinating, maybe spread them out a bit. So that’s why I did. Instead of getting 4 in one visit, I would get 2, then 2 one month later. My children are not autistic and even more, they are not spreading curable diseases to other children. Whooping cough is extremely serious in a baby and babies are dying because parents listen to quacks.

  • jean

    No child should be allowed to enter school unless they are vaccinated. This is a totally preventable disease and the risks to your child if they should contract this horrible disease is extremely serious including death.

  • jaygee

    118 caes nationwide out of 300 million people? What am I missing here. We just lost 125 in one small city due to a tornado.

  • jaygee


  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/05/31/cohasset-health-officals-fear-possible-measles-case-at-nursery-school/ Cohasset Health Officals Fear Possible Measles Case At Nursery School « CBS Boston

    […] The Cohasset Health Department issued an alert advising residents that someone believed to have measles visited the South Shore Community Center Nursery School on North Main Street last Tuesday. See: Why Are There So Many More Measles Cases This Year? […]

  • Marianne

    Give me a break,stop blaming amercans for this…..Doctors won’t say it but i will, illegal immigrants bring in these deseases. You really can’t get into most schools without your mmr shots,so unless you hire lawyers,and jump through hoops chances are your children have been vaccinated…Seeing that the measles are showing up in schools and hospitals get real,you know how they got here,and you won’t do a damn thing about it. Oh no we wouldn’t want to offend anyone. The outbreak will be small for 1 reason, MOST AMERICANS HAVE BEEN VACCINATED. We already know we’re safe,ding-a-lings.

  • Marianne

    yeah,yeah…..i didn’t spell check,whatever.

  • http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/08/23/passenger-with-measles-boards-boston-virginia-amtrak-train/ Passenger With Measles Boards Boston-Virginia Amtrak Train « CBS Boston

    […] Read: Why Are There So Many More Measles Cases This Year? […]

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