Surgeon General talks record-setting measles outbreak

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams discusses steps he is taking to get the alarming measles outbreak under control throughout the nation.
4:24 | 05/02/19

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Transcript for Surgeon General talks record-setting measles outbreak
Finally today shifting to some health news. That is a gripping much of the country this measles outbreak the largest. In 25 years in this country just twenty years ago measles have been declared eradicated from the United States and now. A we have it's shocking number of cases cropping up a lot of it. Because of American parents choosing not to vaccinated there kids thankfully it has not yet been deadly in this latest. Outbreak but officials are very concerned including the surgeon general of the United States doctors Rome Adams who might caught up with just a short time ago. Surgeon general Adams thanks so much for joining us 700 cases 22 states quite an alarming. Outbreak are we any closer. To getting this under control. Well we're certainly close that are raising awareness across the country about the importance of vaccinations. I think it's important that everyone understand vaccination. Is our strongest and our safest tool and it is a linchpin of public health and the quicker. And more effectively we can get that message out. The F quicker we'll see the end of this outbreak and hopefully prevent future outbreaks yet you. In pleading with the public of my parents since as far back as the Super Bowl before. To get your kids vaccinated you are the father of three yourself your kids are rats and it. Is it frustrating to you that so many people are still skeptical about the safety of vaccines. Well I don't know a frustrating is the right word. If it's a challenge it but it's also an opportunity. I'm fortunately many folks haven't seen. The that the damage that can be caused. By vaccine preventable diseases like measles and they think it's a thing of the past and I've often said that the biggest problem with public health. Is that no one appreciates it when it's working well. But up. Everyone wonders what happened when things go right I really and one M. From what I wanted to get this message out before out and fortunately we experienced any deaths. But hopefully we can use this as an opportunity to impress upon folks the safety of vaccinations. And the effectiveness of vaccinations and that's why HHS during national infant immunization week is a really trying to help. All of America understand that vaccines are one of the best schools that we have available to keep our children safe. Indicate people who can't get vaccinated. Just like my wife who's actually undergoing therapy for cancer. To keep people like about like them say to him you know suppressed. Yeah and it it it is so highly contagious. As you say who it's not something we've dealt with here on this scale for quite some time I wondered if you're following. This tentative reports today of that Caribbean cruise indicates that the measles down. Down there would have with a bunch of people in close quarters wonder if that's sort of good eggs illustrating an example of just how concerning this can be if you get even one person with this disease among a whole bunch of people that may be are vaccinated. Absolutely I was just in Canada a few days ago when we were talking about this issue there is no where in the world that is more than a plane flight away. Let me back seem preventable disease outbreak and it's why it's important we get the message across to the United States about how important community. Community if so that if measles is. Imported then again it won't have the opportunity to spread within a community but it's also why. Again I was in Canada talking about vaccinations and why the United States public health service which I lead. He's not only in the United States but throughout the world helping folks understand the importance of vaccinations. I answers you know we've also hear from a lot of parents whose children are under twelve months that sort of the agency insert to get these vaccines what. What a breast you have for those folks who want to keep their kids safe from the measles which and they do. Well we know if they're going out of the country. That you can get vaccinations. Six months button that the most important advice I give to anyone who have questions about vaccinations. If the talk to your health care provider. We know the strongest predictor of whether or not parents are going to get vaccinated. And whether or not they have a health care provider who they can trust and who takes the time to answer their questions and in many cases in. It's individual life in terms of the advice particularly for free young people and people who maybe M you know suppressed in silicon top tier health care provider. And it's Smart advice from the surgeon general United States appreciated his time doctor Jerome Adams.

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

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