A total of 127 measles cases in 10 states have been registered so far in 2019 and five outbreaks of 3 or more cases occur, according to an update released yesterday by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To date, the total of cases in 2019 has already exceeded the total of the annual cases for 2016 and 2017. Last year, 372 cases were recorded, the highest number since the CDC confirmed 667 in 2014.
62 cases in Washington
Nearly half of the cases recorded since the beginning of the year originate in Clark County, Washington State, which has registered 61 since the beginning of January.
On Jan. 25, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said the epidemic, which affects the Vancouver area south of Washington, was in a state of emergency. King County, home to Seattle, had a case of measles.
The CDC said the current outbreaks are linked to travelers who have introduced measles into US communities after traveling to countries with large measles outbreaks. Last year, the CDC confirmed 82 imported cases, the most imported cases reported to the CDC since the elimination of the country's disease in 2000.
"Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa." Travelers with measles continue to introduce the disease in the United States, "said the CDC. "Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the United States where groups of people are not vaccinated."
Measles is very contagious. an unvaccinated person has a 90% chance of contracting the virus if exposed. Currently, the CDC recommends the two-dose measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, administered at 12 to 15 months and between 4 and 6 years of age. Two doses of MMR vaccine confer immunity to the virus of 97%.
Several months of epidemics in New York
New York is still struggling with measles outbreaks that began last fall. NYC Health, the public health department of New York City, said that since Feb. 12, authorities have confirmed 73 cases of measles in the Orthodox Jewish community of Brooklyn since October.
Officials believe that the outbreak began when an unvaccinated child contracted the virus in Israel.
An international traveler brought measles to Rockland County, New York, in September 2018. By February 13th, the county had registered 135 cases and 81.5% of patients had received no dose of MMR.
Elsewhere, eight cases have been reported in five Texas counties in 2019. The state has witnessed nine cases in 2018 and only one case in 2017.
February 18 update CDC
February 18th update of the state of Washington
February 12 NYC Health update
February 13 update Rockland County
February 14 Texas Health And Human Services