US measles cases break record, hit 971

Posted by Michael Hernandez | 31 May 2019 | 631 times

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The U.S. has surpassed the record for the most measles cases reported in a single year, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recording 971 cases so far in 2019.

That eclipses the previous high of 963 set 25 years ago in 1994, when 963 cases were reported, and 2019 is only five months into the calendar year.

While cases have been recorded nationwide, the latest uptick is largely fueled by two hotbeds in New York City and Rockland County, New York, where cases have continued for seven months among ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities that typically do not vaccinate their children.

Measles was officially eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, a milestone officials define by the virus no longer circulating continuously.

The CDC warned if outbreaks continue through the summer and fall, the U.S. risks losing its measles elimination status, warning should that happen, “that loss would be a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health”.

Prior to the use of the measles vaccine, roughly 3 to 4 million people contracted the virus annually in the U.S., resulting in between 400 to 500 deaths each year and 48,000 hospitalisations, according to the CDC.

“Measles is preventable, and the way to end this outbreak is to ensure that all children and adults who can get vaccinated, do get vaccinated. Again, I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism. The greater danger is the disease that vaccination prevents,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement. (Anadolu Agency)

Source: News Express

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