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While the number of states reporting cases of measles decreased in 1984, the total number of measles cases increased 69 percent, according to the national Centers for Disease Control.

The number of states reporting cases of measles fell from 38 in 1983 to 35 last year, but the provisional number of measles cases rose to 2,534 in 1984, up from 1,497 cases in 1983.

The cdc releases the figures in the May 31 edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report noted that the number of cases recorded in 1984 is small, especially compared with the 525,000 cases reported annually during the prevaccine era of the 1950's and early 1960's.

Of the 2,543 measles patients last year, 1,184 had been vaccinated,6which is to be expected, cdc officials said, because the vaccine is about 90 percent effective. But 874, or 34 percent, of the cases were classified as "preventable." A case is considered preventable if the illness occurs in an individual between 16 months and 29 years old who does not have immunity or a valid reason not to be immunized.

School-age children still constitute "the majority of preventable cases, and further efforts need to be directed at ensuring that all children covered by state school-immunization laws are adequately vaccinated," the report said.

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