United States measles outbreak now worst since 1994 after 60 new cases reported

Grant Boone
May 31, 2019

The past year, alone, has seen the world hit with the biggest outbreak of measles since the turn of the century.

Measles cases in the US have surged to a new high, eclipsing the total number of cases from all of 1994, the worst in 25 years, the CDC said Thursday. This is the highest number of confirmed measles cases in the country since 1992, which saw 963 measles cases hit the USA for the whole year.

Before the measles vaccine, an estimated 3 to 4 million people in the USA contracted the disease every year, according to CDC data.

However, outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, New York have continued for almost 7 months. Measles has been reported in 26 states, with NY having the most cases. "CDC will continue working with public health responders across our nation to bring this outbreak to an end".

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The disease's resurgence can mostly be traced back to un- or under-vaccinated travelers who brought the infection back with them from overseas - that's what happened previous year when cases were reported throughout the country, originating from the Philippines, Israel and Ukraine. That was the highest number since 1992, when the CDC recorded 2,126 cases. "The greater danger is the disease that vaccination prevents", said CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, in a prepared statement.

"CDC encourages parents with questions about measles vaccine to consult with their child's pediatrician, who know the children and community, and want to help parents better understand how vaccines can protect their children", the statement said.

"I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism", Redfield said.

Everyone 6 months and older should be protected against measles before traveling internationally, the agency recommended. "Everyone 12 months and older needs two doses".

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