Measles Outbreaks in 2019 Outpace Total for 2018, 2nd Highest Since Disease Eliminated in U.S.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
By Paul Martin

2 Apr 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that more measles cases have been reported in the first three months of 2019 than in all of 2018, and the number of cases is the second highest since the disease was officially eliminated in the United States in 2000.

The CDC reported on Monday 387 measles cases between Jan. 1 and March 28, 2019. In all of 2018, there were 372 confirmed measles cases in the U.S., according to the CDC.

“These outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines, where large measles outbreaks are occurring,” the CDC website states, adding that people should be vaccinated before traveling internationally.

The CDC website explains that the federal government started recording measles outbreaks in 1912, and in the first decade of record-keeping an average of 6,000 measles-related deaths were reported each year.

It wasn’t until vaccinations were developed and improved that the disease was declared eliminated in 2000 “thanks to a highly effective vaccination program in the United States, as well as better measles control in the Americas region,” the CDC reported.

The reasons for the increase in measles outbreaks is due, in part, to international travel and a growing number of people who are opting not to have their children vaccinated against the disease and other communicable diseases.

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