The United States could be on the verge of larger outbreaks of measles.
One in eight children under the age of 17 is susceptible to the disease and would likely get sick if exposed to the dangerous virus, researchers from Emory University in Atlanta reported Thursday.
The situation is most acute among young children: Nearly a quarter of those age 3 and under are now vulnerable to the highly infectious virus.
Measles epidemics used to occur regularly in the pre-vaccine era.
Most children survived what was a nasty infection, but some came away with lasting side-effects, such as permanent hearing loss or intellectual disabilities. And for every 1,000 children infected with measles, one or two died.
But the measles vaccine introduced in the 1960s made the virus a rarity. These days, it is news when something like the recent Disneyland outbreak occurs. An exposure event in late December 2014 at the California theme park triggered at least 117 cases in the United States.
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