Sunday, 16 June, 2019

U.S. measles outbreak grows, 555 cases reported by CDC

A doctor preparing to give a shot Enlarge Image Shutterstock
Samantha Long | 17 April, 2019, 13:09

Globally, the World Health Organization reports that measles cases in the first quarter of 2019 almost quadrupled compared to what was reported at this time a year ago.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the MMR vaccine is 97 percent effective in protecting people against the measles, a highly contagious disease.

The CDC website said that the federal government started recording measles cases in 1912, and in the first decade of record-keeping, an average of 6,000 measles-related deaths were reported each year.

It further noted that only about 1 in 10 actual measles cases is reported, meaning the early trends for 2019 likely underestimate the severity of the outbreaks. By the end of the year, the number of measles cases in the USA could come close to the tally reported 25 years ago in 1994: 963 cases.

In Madagascar, one of the poorest nations in the world, an outbreak began in September 2018, and at least 117,075 cases of the disease have been reported by the nation's health ministry as of last month.

Infections have also increased in wealthy countries with high overall immunisation rates, such as the United States and Israel.

The WHO said that some outbreaks are due to "clusters" of unvaccinated people.

The measles outbreak that continues to spread across the U.S.is just one of many that are going on around the world this year.

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Increasing vaccination coverage maximises a population's protection, the World Health Organization said.

On Monday, a group of Brooklyn parents also filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court against New York's health department and its commissioner to prevent the city order [iapps.courts.state.ny.us] for mandatory measles vaccinations from taking place. In 2000, health officials announced that they had rid the country of measles.

Measles can be serious for all age groups, but it is most risky for children under 5 and adults over 70.

The CDC recommends MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccinations for children, starting at 12 months of age.

-The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.

Nancy Messonnier, acting director of the Center for Preparedness and Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said all the USA measles cases have come from other countries.

The 555 tally for 2019 is the second-largest tally since measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000. The closing, which is the first for this outbreak, came less than a week after Mayor Bill De Blasio issued an emergency declaration that mandates measles vaccines for all children in four Brooklyn ZIP codes.

The 2019 tally is already the most since 2014, when 667 were reported.

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