The measles, once an endemic disease, responsible for as many as 542,000 cases a year, has now become almost completely eradicated in the United States due to the development of a measles vaccine.
The measles virus was first isolated by virologist John Enders in 1954. The measles vaccine was licensed in 1963 and has been widely responsible for the almost total elimination of the disease in the United States. This is due to pre-school and school aged children now being routinely vaccinated almost universally in the United States. The vaccine is now administered together with the vaccines for mumps and rubella, and is called the MMR vaccine. Despite the effectiveness of the vaccine, there are still cases being seen due to exposure to people who are bringing it in from outside the country.
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