California Measles Outbreak Surprises Officials

The disease, thought to be eliminated in the U.S., is highly contagious.
3:00 | 03/31/14

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Transcript for California Measles Outbreak Surprises Officials
And tonight, officials in California are on alert, keeping a watchful eye over surprising outbreak. The measles. Highly contagious. But tonight, it is back, the number of cases climbing. And a choice by parents may be the reason. Abc'fchie medical editor Dr. Richard Besser with the details. Reporter: You've probably never seen this. Neither has your doctor. It's measles, caused by one of the most con stay jous viruses around. 49 cases in California. Last year at this time, four. 21 cases in New York City. It's very contagious, and what we're trying to do is prevent the exposure and spread. Reporter: Meezss can be deadly, but it pretty much disappeared in America over the last 20 years, as most people vaccinated toddlers on schedule. Some now ignore that schedule. Why are we seeing the outbreaks? People aren't aware. So, they spreading out the vaccines, which leaves their children susceptible. Reporter: The warning signs? Fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes. It looks like a really bald cold. The key thing is the rash, which is classic, and not always present in some individuals, comes later. Reporter: Which is why tonight, health officials are urging anyone who hasn't been vax noted to get that shot. Dr. Richard Besser, ABC news, New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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