By Dr. Brian McDonough

KYW Medical Report Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Over the past few years we are seeing a growing number of cases of measles.

In the mid-nineties, measles was so rare that most physicians under 40 at the time had never seen it. But in recent years there have been pockets of people who don’t believe in immunizations.

A new report from Emory University has disturbing news: more than half of U.S. measles cases since 2000 occurred in unvaccinated individuals, most of whom had cited non-medical reasons for avoiding immunization. The availability of vaccine exemptions varies among the fifty states and is constantly the target of those who would broaden them, easing the opportunities for refusal.

Immunizations can be rendered far less effective when pockets of people do not get vaccinated. This can lead to infections not only in those not vaccinated but even some who have been vaccinated.