Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten — United States, 2012–13 School Year

“Measles gone-think again!”  U.S. measles outbreaks in 2013

Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis

Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare chronic, progressive encephalitis that affects primarily children and young adults, caused by the measles virus (which can be a result of a mutation of the virus itself). No cure for SSPE exists, but the condition can be managed by medication if treatment is started at an early stage.[1] Much of the work on SSPE has been performed by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

SSPE is also known as Dawson Disease, Dawson encephalitis and measles encephalitis. It should not be confused with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis which has a similar etiology but very different timing and course.


Characterized by a history of primary measles infection usually before the age of 2 years, followed by several asymptomatic years (6–15 on average), and then gradual, progressive psychoneurological deterioration, consisting of personality change, seizures, myoclonus, ataxia, photosensitivity, ocular abnormalities, spasticity, and coma.  Read More


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a progressive neurological disorder of children and young adults that affects the central nervous system

Is there any treatment?

What is the prognosis?

What research is being done?

National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT   06810 External link
Tel: 203-744-0100
Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-798-2291  


Immunization Requirements for Foreign Exchange Students

Participating in a foreign exchange program in the United States can give  international students a new view of the world. Friendships are developed,  cultures are explored and memories are made. The U.S. does not have immunization  requirements for incoming foreign exchange students, but most high schools,  colleges and universities will not allow students to attend their institutions  without proof of immunization.
Read more


Measles On The Rise? What You Should Know

Measles is nothing to sneeze at and hopefully it shouldn’t be something you sneeze from today in the United States. But measles has been in the news lately. Read more about what you should know about Measles.


The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Brian, Erica, and Emmalee Parker

Brian and Erica Parker spent about a year and a half completing all of the paperwork and clearances necessary to bring home their new daughter, Emmalee, from India. During that time, they got reports about Emmalee and sent care packages to her. She was 2 1/2 years old when they finally brought her home.  She weighed only 17 pounds, and they soon found that she had other health and behavior related concerns as well. As the Parkers took Emmalee to various healthcare providers and therapists, they were told that she had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

However, about five years after Emmalee was adopted, the Parkers noticed that she seemed to be losing her coordination. Emergency room physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia were from India, and they immediately asked when Emmalee had had the measles.  Recognizing the symptoms of the disorder, they were already considering SSPE as a possibility that was later confirmed by lab testing. Emmalee, they were told, was already in stage two of a disease with four stages. She would not likely recover.  Brian and Erica did research to learn all that they could about SSPE and worked with doctors in attempts to stabilize Emmalee’s condition. Unfortunately, a few months later Emmalee’s condition worsened, and she slipped into a coma. About a month after her eighth birthday, she died.

As Brian and Erica learned, despite the fact that Emmalee had the measles vaccine in the orphanage in India, she didn’t get it until she was about 16 months old. The Parkers were told that it is likely that she got SSPE because she was exposed to measles before she was 1 year old.

The Evening Sun newspaper in Hanover, Pennsylvania carried an excellent article by Craig K. Paskoski about the Parkers and their beautiful daughter, Emmalee Parker. Read the full story»

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Parents PACK

-Possessing, Accessing and Communicating Knowledge about vaccines — was established by the Vaccine Education Centerat The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to:

  • Develop a dialogue with you about vaccines
  • Provide you with vaccine information more regularly than your family’s doctor visits
  • Establish a place where you can easily get up-to-date information and answers to your vaccine questions.


A rare disease, always a killer but easily preventable


Measles in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed five cases of measles in three different regions of the commonwealth during the month of May, according to a state epidemiologist.


Childhood diseases return as parents refuse vaccines

Landon Lewis, 4, was living in a Minneapolis homeless shelter when he fell ill, first with a fever of 104 degrees, then with a red rash on his forehead. Read More


Officials warn of possible measles exposure in eastern Pa.


County Health Department Identifies Three Probable Cases of Measles

The Bucks County Health Department has identified three probable cases of measles that could have exposed other persons while infectious. For most people, measles is not a serious illness. However, in some cases it can cause severe illness. Complications from measles can include ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, and encephalitis. All three probable cases in Bucks County were at least partially vaccinated. Read More.



Infectious Diseases FAQ

Measles statistics

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet on measles, Nov. 2007

  • Measles remains a leading cause of death among young children worldwide, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine for the past 40 years.
  • In 2006, it was estimated that there were 242,000 measles deaths globally: This translates to about 663 deaths every day, or 27 deaths every hour.
  • The overwhelming majority (more than 95 percent) of measles deaths occur in countries with per capita Gross National Incomes of less than US $1,000 and weak health infrastructures.
  • Vaccination has had a major impact on measles deaths. Overall, global measles mortality decreased by 68 percent between 2000 and 2006. The largest gains occurred in Africa, where measles cases and deaths fell by 91 percent.



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