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

2 Jun, 2019
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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.

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Literature Literature archive

KT Paul, K Loer 2019 Journal of Public Health Policy Volume 40, Issue 2
J Kennedy 2019 The European Journal of Public Health Vol. 29, No. 3, 512–516
C Lynderup Lübker,E Lynge 2019 European Journal of Public Health Vol 29 (3):500–505. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cky235
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