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The United States registered 71 new measles cases last week, an increase of 13 percent when it faces its second worst disease outbreak in nearly two decades, federal health officials said on Monday.
The American Disease Control and Prevention Centers said it had recorded 626 cases of the highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease in 22 states from April 19, the highest rate of infection in five years.
The CDC had previously reported 555 cases in 20 states between January 1 and April 11. The current outbreak is likely to surpass the 2014 outbreak in the number of cases, the CDC said on Monday.
Iowa and Tennessee were the two states that joined the CDC list of new measles cases.
More than half of the cases registered this year occurred in New York City, mainly in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn.
The Orthodox population of Williamsburg speaks of 73,000. The Orthodox population is considered one of the most problematic in dealing with measles outbreaks, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot declared a health protection situation in early April. .
The American outbreak is part of a worldwide increase in the nearly eradicated disease. The World Health Organization reported last week that global cases had risen almost fourfold in the first quarter of 2019 to 112,163 compared to the same period last year.
A vocal fringe of parents in the United States opposes vaccines that believe, contrary to scientific evidence, that ingredients in them may cause autism or other diseases.
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