USA: Measles cases top record, putting measles elimination status at risk

2 Jun, 2019
, Source:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday that 971 cases of measles have been reported this year, topping the 1994 modern-record level, and it warned that the United States could lose its measles elimination status. Amid the growing measles crisis, the conspiracy-fueled anti-vaccination campaign of misinformation continues unabated on social media. DHS mulls a travel ban on measles-infected individuals.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday that 971 cases of measles have been reported this year, topping the 1994 modern-record level, and it warned that if a pair of large outbreaks in and around New York City continue over the summer and fall, the United States could lose its measles elimination status.

In an email statement, the CDC said the U.S. measles elimination goal—to stop continuous local transmission—was first announced in 1963, and it took until 2000 for the nation to achieve it, which was a monumental task. Loss of measles elimination status would be a blow to the nation and erase the hard work of all public health levels, it added.

Two large outbreaks weigh heavily
Outbreaks in New York City and nearby Rockland County, both centered in Orthodox Jewish communities, have continued for nearly seven months and between them have totaled 804 cases so far, according to the latest city and county updates.

Before the widespread use of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, measles sickened about 3 to 4 million people each year, resulting in 400 to 500 deaths and about 48,000 hospitalizations, according to CDC estimates.

CIDRAP reports that the previous modern record of 963 occurred in 1994, the year the federally funded Vaccines for Children program began, an event that stabilized the number people vaccinated against the disease and set the stage for measles elimination in 2000.

The CDC said the United States was able to eliminate measles due to extensive use of a safe and highly effective vaccine and a strong public health infrastructure to detect and contain the disease.

CDC director Robert Redfield, MD, said the only way to end the outbreak is to make sure all children and adults who can get vaccinated are 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,” he said, adding that the CDC will continue working with public health departments to bring the outbreak to an end.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 at 11:45 am and is filed under Latest News.

Videos Video archive

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission joined forces to tackle the issue at the first global vaccination summit. Although many of them live in developing countries with poor access to vaccines, scientists are worried that anti-vaccination campaigners in the developed world are spreading misinformation on social media. So what’s the cure for their scepticism?

Emilie Karafillakis, research fellow for the Vaccine Confidence Project, speaks to France 24 about the rising anti-vaccination sentiment that is rising throughout Europe, especially in France where a recent study revealed 1 in 3 citizens believe vaccines are unsafe.

In this episode of Take as Directed, J. Stephen Morrison speaks with Dr. Heidi Larson on why vaccine confidence is currently in crisis, and how this has fueled outbreaks such as measles and the persistence of polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Literature Literature archive

AB. Wiyeh, et al. 2019 Vaccine Vol 37:6317–6323
Evans DR, et at. 2019 VACCINE Vol 37(40):6008-6015
Subscribe to our mailing list

Click here to go to our GDPR-compliant signup form.

The Vaccine Knowledge Project at the Oxford Vaccine Group