A disease that was once thought to be wiped out is making a comeback. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms 131 cases of the measles in the U.S. through July of this year. That’s the highest number since 1996. Missouri has had just one case. Missouri’s high level of measles immunization across the population has kept the disease at bay, said immunization educator Jennifer Paulk with the state health department.
"The higher the immunization rate the better protection we all have against all diseases," she said.
In the 2007-2008 school year more than 99 percent of students entering school were vaccinated giving the state a high herd immunity.
"The better the herd is vaccinated against the disease the less likely disease can come in," said Paulk. "In the state of Missouri the higher the rate of vaccination for the citizens in the state the less likely we are to see disease."
The bottom line is as long as Missourians keep up with their vaccinations the chances of a measles outbreak or another disease outbreak are low.
"If everybody goes out and get their immunizations against these diseases then those very few people that actually cannot be immunized are protected because we are protected and that’s what the herd immunity," Paulk said.