Sunday, 21 July, 2019

Global measles cases up by 300 percent in 2019

Doctor holds vaccine Enlarge Image Shutterstock
Anna Jefferson | 16 April, 2019, 04:09

A spike in case numbers was, in addition, reported for countries including the U.S. and Thailand with high levels of vaccination coverage.

In the first quarter of the year, 170 countries reported some 112,000 infections, up from 28,000 in the first quarter of 2018.

"I'm obviously very concerned about the size and also acceleration of the current outbreak", said Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. We should not have active measles in the United States.

"Over recent months, spikes in case numbers have also occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States.as well as Israel, Thailand, and Tunisia, as the disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people", the World Health Organization said. The World Health Organization reported on Monday that global cases had risen almost four-fold in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 compared with the same period past year.

The agency said actual numbers may be far greater, since only one in 10 cases globally are reported. But when an worldwide traveler exposed to measles overseas brings the disease into the country, pockets of unvaccinated communities within the USA enable the disease to spread. Despite the ongoing outbreaks in communities across the United States, measles is still considered eliminated, which means it is not being continuously transmitted in this country.

The CDC recommends two doses of the measles mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine for children.

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"Vaccine is the path to stopping this outbreak", Palacio said.

There have been 44 new NY measles cases since last week, when the health commissioner issued a rare emergency order mandating vaccines for everyone living in the outbreak areas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The 20 states reporting measles this year are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

"Most measles outbreaks in the United States stop sooner than this", she said.

Another outbreak has hit Orthodox Jewish families in New York's Rockland County.

They added: "More than 20 million lives have been saved through measles vaccination since the year 2000 alone".

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