If you look at this chart...2014 has been the worst year for the measles in the United States, since the disease started making a comeback. Dr. Debra Mcmahan with the Allen County Health Department explains the increase. "Unfortunately, more and more people are choosing not to be vaccinated. Which is a big problem for us, because measles is a very, in fact it's probably one of the most contagious infectious diseases that we have."
Before the vaccination program in 1963, 4 to 5 hundred people died each year, and 48 thousand were hospitalized. Now in 2014, there have been cases in 21 states, including Indiana and Ohio.
"I think in Ohio there are over 300 cases now, because, again, it is happening in a cohort of people that have not been vaccinated."
There have not been any cases in Allen County so far, but Mcmahon explains what symptoms to look for. "They'll get a cough, a runny nose, a fever. and then a few days later, a very, diffused red rash will occur all over their body. Usually there's no mistaking measles when you see it. it's very impressive when you get it, it makes kids really uncomfortable."
Mcmahon says you can prevent measles by getting the vaccination.
"Just get vaccinated, it's so simple so easy. It does not cause autism. These vaccines are safe, they are very well studied. there is really no reason not to get them."
The goal of the World Health Organization is to eradicate measles by the year 2020. But health officials say in order to get rid of measles entirely, people will need to get themselves and their children vaccinated.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.