Missouri one of 21 states monitoring measles outbreak

CREVE COEUR, Mo. - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring a measles outbreak in 21 states. The CDC says more than 100 people are reported to have the virus.

The majority of those sick were not vaccinated.

Kids typically get the first shot at one and get a second shot before entering kindergarten, but if you`re not sure of your immunization status, doctors say you can get a booster shot at any age.

Both Missouri and Illinois are among the 21 states that the CDC is monitoring for a measles outbreak.

Dr. Ann Hennessey, a pediatrician with Mercy Clinic, has encouraged all of her patients to get vaccinated.

She believes this outbreak is due in part to parents not vaccinating their children over fears of side effects. She said several studies have debunked any connection between the measles vaccination and autism. She said the measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours and if you’ve been exposed to it and haven't been vaccinated, there's a 90 percent chance you'll become infected with it.

“Missouri is one of the states where there have been cases of measles. I know several months ago there was a scare of somebody had been at the Magic House maybe had exposure to the measles and so this is out there and, like I said, the thing that's so bad about it is that it has a very high attack rate and you can be contagious for five days before you even know you're sick,” Dr. Hennessey said.

According to the CDC, there have already been 107 measles cases reported this year. The majority of those cases were in people who were not vaccinated.