According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been a total of 626 individual cases of measles confirmed in 22 states in the US. The number of confirmed cases in 2019 is expected to surpass the highest level of cases since elimination of measles in the US in 2000 (667 cases in 2014).(1) While measles was eliminated in 2000 from the US, measles is still prevalent in the rest of the world and those infected outside the US can import measles into the US and infect those who are not immunized against measles or those who cannot be immunized because of compromised immune systems.
There have been a number of measles outbreaks in the US during 2019. These include Rockland County in New York where there were 200 confirmed cases of measles as of 4/24/2019 (80.5% of those infected did not receive the MMR vaccine and 57% were younger than 6 years of age), Brooklyn and Queens in New York where there were 390 confirmed cases of measles as of 4/24/19 (255 cases were younger than 5 years of age), Washington (Clark and King Counties = 72 cases), New Jersey, California (23 cases), and Michigan (43 cases).(2-6) In Los Angeles, there was only 1 case reported until April. Currently, there have been 5 confirmed new cases of measles reported in Los Angeles during the month of April.(7)
Measles is highly contagious and associated with significant morbidity and mortality. According to the World Health Organization, there were 7 million people affected by measles and 89,780 deaths from measles globally in 2016.(8) The best treatment for measles is prevention from contracting it in the first place. The MMR vaccine is the most effective method for preventing one from being infected with measles.(9, 10)
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