Global Measles Outbreak Bypasses the United States
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealing that global coverage of the measles-containing vaccine (MCV) has declined to the lowest levels since 2008.
The CDC confirmed that from 2000 to 2022, measles vaccination prevented approximately 57 million deaths worldwide.
However, there has been an 18% increase in estimated measles cases and a 43% increase in estimated measles deaths in 2022 compared with 2021.
Measles is highly contagious, infecting about 90% of people following exposure to the virus, says the CDC.
As of November 17, 2023, disruptive measles outbreaks were reported globally.
All six World Health Organization regions have committed to eliminating measles; however, no region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.
The CDC recently reported that Yemen (28,247) and India (24,301) have reported the most measles cases over the past year.
Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that requires high population immunity for transmission to be interrupted.
Measles vaccination programs began in the United States in 1963 and continue in 2023.
As of November 2, 2023, a total of 41 measles cases were reported by 18 jurisdictions.
The majority of these measles cases are related to international travelers.
Furthermore, the CDC published a global Watch-Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions, Travel Health Notice in September 2023, identifying measles outbreaks in 39 countries.
On August 17, 2023, the CDC conducted a COCA webinar urging all healthcare providers to ensure their patients were up to date on the measles vaccination.
Various measles vaccines are available worldwide. In the U.S., most clinics and pharmacies offer measles vaccination services.