Number of U.S. measles cases surpasses 1,000 this year, CDC says

Henrietta Brewer
June 9, 2019

The national measles tally exceeded 1,000 cases this week, spurring HHS Secretary Alex Azar to renew his call for vaccinations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now pegs the number of measles cases at over 1,000 - the most in 27 years.

CDC officials have warned that the country risks losing its measles elimination status if the ongoing outbreak, which began in October 2018 in NY, continues until October 2019. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

US measles cases in 2019 passed the 1,000 mark on Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced.

Since 2000, the number has fluctuated between a few dozen and a few hundred cases per year, with 667 cases recorded during a 2014 outbreak in OH, especially in Amish communities.

It's unclear whether the 2019 outbreak will reach the mark set in 1992, when there were 2,126 cases of measles reported in the US, according to historical CDC data.

"The Department of Health and Human Services has been deeply engaged in promoting the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, amid concerning signs that there are pockets of undervaccination around the country".

As of Thursday, 26 states have reported cases to the CDC. NY has been the largest contributor to this year's unfortunate milestone with almost 700 cases of measles reported this year in the state. Local outbreaks begin when the highly contagious illness spreads to those who are not immune to the virus due to a lack of vaccination.

Since then, health officials say they've given more than 3,300 measles (MMR) vaccines and held special clinics in the affected areas.

Azar described measles as an "incredibly contagious and unsafe disease".

The Oakland County Health Division says that the measles outbreak in the area is "officially" over, and that there were 44 confirmed cases between March and Wednesday, June 5. "I encourage all Americans to talk to your doctor about what vaccines are recommended to protect you, your family, and your community from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases".

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