Measles Outbreak Continues, 2 New States Reporting Cases; U.S. on Verge of Losing ‘Measles Elimination Status’

  • The number of U.S. measles cases continues to skyrocket as the nation faces the worst outbreak in about 25 years. With Idaho and Virginia now reporting cases, the U.S. has reported 1,022 cases since June 6.
  • On Monday, 41 new measles cases were reported. The disease is highly contagious, and in some cases, fatal.
  • The current outbreak is now present in 28 states and is largely due to anti-vaxxers, parents who don’t vaccinate their children because they believe vaccinations can cause autism. This has been refuted with scientific evidence.
  • The outbreak is also especially prevalent among Orthodox Jewish communities who don’t vaccinate on religious grounds.
  • Eight of the states affected allow personal and philosophical exemptions.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said: “We cannot say this enough: Vaccines are a safe and highly effective public health tool that can prevent this disease and end the current outbreak.”
  • In 1992, the U.S. had 2,126 cases, but made strides to declare the disease eliminated in 2000, “meaning there was no continuous transmission of the disease for a year.”
  • Reported cases in the U.S. after 2000 were transmitted by travelers arriving from countries where measles was commonplace.
  • According to the CDC, the U.S. “risks losing its measles elimination status if the ongoing outbreak, which began in October 2018 in New York, continues until October 2019.”
  • If the U.S. loses its status, it “would mean a threshold would be crossed and measles would be considered a perpetual threat.”
  • The current outbreak began with travelers who went to countries like Ukraine and Israel and brought the disease back.

Reference Links

  • Reuters: U.S. measles outbreak spreads to Idaho and Virginia, hits 1,022 cases READ
  • ABC: Number of measles cases over 1,000 in US for the first time since its eradication READ
  • The Hill: Measles found in two more states as outbreak grows to 1,022 cases READ
  • Daily Mail: Measles strikes two new states as the caseload climbs over 1,000 – pushing the US closer to losing its precious ‘elimination’ status READ

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