Although measles only rarely occurs in the United States, it still does occur and can be fatal. In the year 2000, almost 1 million children died of the disease. Through a very intensive effort by the World Health Organization, this was decreased to only 164,000 in 2008. When the number of vaccinated individuals starts to decrease, we see the disease start to occur more frequently. This occurred from 1989 until 1991 in the U.S. During that period, there were 55,000 cases and 123 deaths from measles in the U.S. Due to a massive public-health effort, almost all children in the U.S. now receive measles vaccine before they are allowed to enter school. The number of cases of measles in the U.S. dropped to only 37 in 2004. Most cases are now from outside the U.S. (commonly from adopted children from China), although some cases occur as people in this country are exposed to the infected international traveler.
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