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As measles cases rise nationwide, Pittsburgh health officials stress importance of vaccination

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As measles cases rise nationwide, Pittsburgh health officials stress importance of vaccination

As measles cases rise nationwide, Pittsburgh health officials stress importance of vaccination 02:07

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Infectious disease experts are sounding the alarm that measles is on the rise nationwide, with several major cities reporting outbreaks.

What is being seen here in Western Pennsylvania?

When you think about measles, you might think of a disease prevalent long ago, but that is no longer the case. This potentially deadly and communicable disease has been found in Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh health officials say we need to be on the lookout here as well.

Measles symptoms can include:

New York, Philadelphia and Chicago have all seen measles outbreaks. As for Allegheny County, Allegheny County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Barbara Nightingale delivered an encouraging answer.

"We're doing very well in Allegheny County," Dr. Nightingale said.

Dr. Nightingale, however, says when it comes to measles vaccinations, those numbers were less promising.

"The numbers are slightly going down over the last few years. There's always room for improvement."

The CDC says nationwide that measles vaccination rates have gone down. There could be a few reasons for that, according to the agency, Including general vaccination fears, as well as the belief that the measles shots cause autism in children.

"[There is] no there's no link to autism at all," Dr. Nightingale said.

The symptoms mentioned earlier are not fun but pale compared to what can happen to you once infected.

"Some of the more severe complications can be things like pneumonia and infection in the brain."

Dr. Nightingale says preventing you or your child from getting measles is very simple.

"Make sure you get your vaccine," Dr. Nightingale said.

The Allegheny County Health Department says you can get the measles vaccines through the department itself. For more information, click here.

Ross Guidotti

Ross Guidotti, a Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate , joined KDKA in 2001 as a general assignment reporter.

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