With 555 total cases, 2019 now has the second highest number of measles cases in the US for 25 years – and the year is not even half over.
"I'm obviously very concerned about the size and acceleration of the current outbreak," said Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "This will not end on its own."
Fairs are growing not only in the United States. The World Health Organization reported Monday that there were more than 110,000 measles cases worldwide in the first three months of 2019 – an increase of almost 300% over the same period last year.
The data is preliminary and the actual number of measles cases is likely to be higher, since the WHO estimates that less than 1
Ukraine had the highest number of cases in the last 12 months, with more than 72,000 cases, followed by Madagascar and India with more than 69,000 and 60,000 cases, respectively. WHO warned that there are delays in reporting and these data may be incomplete.
A "fast-paced life-threatening disease"
In addition, 1 or 2 of 1,000 children who get measles will die from it.
After the vaccine, cases fell, with 963 cases in 1994. In 2000, the disease was eliminated in the United States. Despite the ongoing outbreaks in the United States, measles is still considered to be eliminated, which means that it is not transmitted continuously in the country. Trade fairs would no longer be considered eliminated when it was continuously transferred for longer than 12 months.
CDC recommends two doses of measles juice and rubella or MMR, vaccine for children. The first one should be given at 12 to 15 months and the other when the child is 4 to 6 years old. The first dose provides 93% protection against measles and the second dose provides 97% protection.
Experts point to a reason for this year's major outbreak: the power of the anti-vaccination movement.
"It's just awful sad that kids in the US have to suffer from measles. It shouldn't happen," said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and a CDC advisor on vaccines. "We had previously eliminated this disease, not only in the United States, but in the whole western hemisphere, and it seems that we have now deeply and unfortunately restored the clock. "
The 20 states that report 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 cases have been in New York, an outbreak among ultra-orthodox a Jews who started in the fall.
Messonier says the New York outbreak has been particularly difficult to control.
"Most measles outbreaks in the US stop earlier than this," she said.
Health officers in Rockland County, New York, tried to carry unvaccinated children from public places, but a judge banned the county from applying this rule.
Messonier said it was about "correcting myths" about vaccination. The health authorities have been working with rabbis to explain that the vaccination is safe, but it still has not become the outbreak.
"You just have to approach people where they are and answer their questions," says Messonier. "It's about the slow work of developing trust."