Measles cases rose almost four-fold in first quarter 2019

Henrietta Strickland
April 16, 2019

The CDC report did not say whether there have been any fatalities.

The number of measles cases in the United States made its biggest jump of the year, with 90 new cases reported in just one week, according to numbers released Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The majority of the new cases are connected to an outbreak in New York City and New York State, Cohn says.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio declared the outbreak a public health emergency last week and ordered unvaccinated people in the affected parts of Brooklyn to get the vaccine or face a fine.

The CDC pointed to four other places with ongoing outbreaks in the U.S.: Clark County, Washington; Oakland County, Michigan; two counties in New Jersey; and a handful of counties across California. "Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases", WHO further said.

Measles can be serious for all age groups, but it is most unsafe for children under 5 and adults over 70. The Ukraine has recorded about 37,000 cases this year. And the European Union is tallying about a thousand cases a month.

The number of measles cases across the United States rose for the third week in a row, bringing the total to 555 - the highest number in the past five years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

More American families are bringing measles home with them after traveling overseas, Cohn says.

Experts point to one reason for this year's large outbreak: the power of the anti-vaccination movement.

NY health officials said the Brooklyn outbreak was caused by an unvaccinated child returning from a trip to Israel, which is also grappling with an outbreak.

"The overwhelming scientific evidence over many years and decades indicate that the vaccine, particularly the measles vaccine is very safe", Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, told CBSN AM earlier this year. About 10 percent of children develop ear infections, which can cause permanent hearing damage. This can lead to convulsions and leave a child deaf or with an intellectual disability.

Before the development of the measles vaccine in the 1960s, the USA recorded almost a half million cases each year, the CDC says.

Before the first measles vaccine became available in 1963, the disease killed hundreds of people and hospitalized 48,000 each year, according to the CDC.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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