ST. LOUIS ( -- Robert Nelson V didn’t question if he should vaccinate his daughter Ryan - he felt it was necessary to protect her.

“I knew from the get-go this is what you do,” Nelson told News 4.

Nelson’s 4-month-old daughter Ryan is getting vaccinated at a time when measles cases are on the rise. According to the CDC, more than 800 cases have been confirmed in 23 states, including Illinois and Missouri. The CDC says that’s the highest number of cases in the U.S. since 1994.  

“I’m afraid that as the year goes on we’re going to see more and more cases and we may even see some kids dying of this,” Dr. Ken Haller, SLU Care Pediatrician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, said.

The St. Louis Health Department is also taking precautions, warning people to make sure they are vaccinated before traveling to any area experiencing an outbreak.

“Right now, in the St. Louis Metropolitan area, we have not had an outbreak of measles, so that might give people a false sense of security,” Dr. Haller said.

Dr. Haller said measles is “incredibly, incredibly contagious.”

“A person can have it and walk through a room and two hours later another person can walk through that room, and if they are susceptible to measles, they have a 90 percent chance of getting it,” he explained.

Dr. Haller said it’s normal for people to have questions or even concerns about vaccines, just simply talk those through with your doctor.

Parents like Ryan’s dad said the good outweighs any bad.

“Do you want to deal with a disease that could potentially be fatal to your child or do you want to deal with something minor that may happen down the line?”

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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