In a Vital Statistics item on state reports of increases in certain diseases (The Cutting Edge, Aug. 14), the number of rabies cases refers to animal rabies. (Published 8/28/90)

States are reporting increases in cases of measles, rubella, pertussis and Legionnaire's disease, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.

The number of measles cases -- 16,221 since January 1990, is up 67 percent from the 9,744 cases reported at the same time last year. CDC officials cite two reasons for the increase: preschool children who are not immunized and a growing number of cases among the elderly. The CDC recommends that children receive a second measles vaccination before entering kindergarten.

Epidemiology officials are also concerned about a mild resurgence in the incidence of rubella -- a viral infection also known as German measles. The number of cases reported this year -- 669 -- is a 148 percent increase over the 270 reported during the same period in 1989. Officials speculate that there are still clusters of people who have not been vaccinated against the illness.

CDC officials are uncertain if the increases in pertussis -- whooping cough -- and Legionnaire's disease -- a form of pneumonia -- are due to higher incidences of the diseases or if doctors are doing a better job of reporting the illnesses.

............................1989.........1990.......Percentage Change

Rubella................ .....270..........669.......up 148%

Legionellosis................536..........611.......up 14%

Malaria......................670..........633.......down 6%

Measles....................9,744.......16,221.......up 67%

Meningococcal Infections...1,803........1,579.......down 12%

Mumps......................3,680........3,528.......down 4%

Pertussis..................1,581........1,724.......up 9%

Animal rabies..............2,789........2,353.......down 16%

Source: Centers for Disease Control