New Measles Cases Have Surpassed US Record Set in 1994 — CDC

Henrietta Strickland
May 31, 2019

That eclipses the previous high of 963 set 25 years ago in 1994, when 963 cases were reported, and 2019 is only five months into the calendar year.

The United States has recorded 971 cases of measles in the first five months of 2019, surpassing the total for any year since 1992, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention say. A vocal fringe of parents oppose vaccines. "The greater danger is the disease that vaccination prevents", said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

Measles, once common in the US, became rare after vaccination campaigns that started in the 1960s.

Such tactics may strike some as heavy-handed, but they have been validated through decades of case law, said Mark Ustin, head of the health care compliance and lobbying practices at the NY law firm Farrell Fritz.

Vaccinations against the incredibly contagious virus remain high, but USA health officials say they are strengthening state and local programs aimed at spreading the word that the safest and most effective way to protect against measles is to get vaccinated.

Prior to the use of the measles vaccine, roughly 3 to 4 million people contracted the virus annually in the USA, resulting in between 400 to 500 deaths each year and 48,000 hospitalizations, according to the CDC. It started when some unvaccinated children visited Israel, where a measles outbreak was occurring. Most of those cases have been in Orthodox Jewish communities with low vaccination rates. Forty-two people have been hospitalized, including 12 treated in intensive care units.

Some have been motivated by a city order issued in April that all children and adults who live in four Brooklyn ZIP codes be vaccinated or face fines of up to $1,000. But health officials say it has been reintroduced by people who have traveled to other countries. "CDC will continue working with public health responders across our nation to bring this outbreak to an end".

The officials believe it's all paying off.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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