California lawmakers urge CDC to do more against measles

More than a dozen California lawmakers are urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to take stronger action to fight the measles in their state, which has more than 100 reported case of the disease.

Eighteen lawmakers sent a letter to CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden on Friday asking him to ensure that doctors and nurses across California are trained to diagnose measles, a once-rare disease that is threatening to make a comeback.  

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The group, led by Rep. Lois CappsLois Ragnhild CappsDem lawmaker wants federal laws rewritten with gender neutral terms Dems pressure Fiat Chrysler to support recalled rental ban GOP chairman: Feds dropped the ball in Calif. oil spill MORE (D-Calif.), said some doctors are unprepared to identify the disease, particularly if they have been trained after measles was eradicated in 2000.

The lawmakers praised the work of local and state health agencies, but said the CDC “should also be a leading partner in these efforts.” If the CDC does not act quickly, they warned that more misdiagnoses could result in a wider spread of the disease.

The CDC has mostly worked on public education and outreach regarding the measles while state and local health officials take the lead on the response. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said she will reconsider the response if the outbreak worsens.

“Where asked for help in the states we will, and we'll continue to do our tracking so we can report on a nationwide basis,” Burwell told The Hill on Tuesday.