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For Some Patients With Weakened Immunity, Fear of Measles Has Upended Daily Routines

They are staying away from public spaces, placing panicked calls to their doctors, and taking to social media to implore others who can get vaccinated to do so

There have been more than 760 cases of measles in America this year — the highest number in 25 years, NBC News reports. With measles scares happening everywhere from movie theaters to cruise ships to planes, individuals with compromised immune systems and their families are upending their daily routines to avoid getting the highly contagious disease. 

Unlike vaccine-hesitant parents who choose not to give their children the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine based on arguments discounted by science or those who object for religious reasons, many with weakened immunity desperately want to get the shot to protect themselves — but cannot.

At the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York — the state that has seen the most measles cases so far this year — Dr. Miguel Perales, a medical oncologist and deputy chief of the bone marrow transplant service, said almost every patient of his asks how to protect themselves from measles.

"They're worried about being around kids, going to the movies, the store, anywhere where there's kids," he said. "Patients are very worried about their risk of exposure, and not just immediate exposure, but indirect exposures through other family members, other children."

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