USA Measles Spotlight

689 Measles Cases Reported During the 2018-2019 Outbreak

Active measles hot-spots are the states of New York, Washington, Michigan, California, and Texas

broadway bill boards

The number of measles cases reported during the 2018-19 outbreak has reached 689 in the USA.

There have been 471 measles cases reported in 18 states during 2019.

The leading states are as follows:

  • New York: 438 measles cases have been reported from October 2018 thru April 5, 2019. This total is segmented by 155 cases reported in 2018, and 283 during 2019
  • Washington: 73 measles cases have been reported in Clark County, as of April 5, 2019
  • Michigan: 39 measles cases have been reported in Michigan, as of April 5, 2019
  • California: 17 measles cases confirmed as of April 3, 2019
  • Texas: 15 measles cases have been confirmed in Texas, as of April 5, 2019

Listed below are the 18 state-based measles updates for the week ending Saturday, April 6, 2019:

  • Arizona: Dr. Cara Christ, Arizona Department of Health Services director, said the agency is probing whether the 1-year-old child who contracted the disease exposed others to measles. Officials said the initial case was due to "Asia-involved travel."
  • California: As of April 3, 2019, health officials have confirmed 17 measles cases, including 11 outbreak-associated cases during 2019. This new data compares with 21 confirmed measles cases in California during 2018. These data are provisional and subject to change.
  • Colorado: As of February 27, 2019, one measles case was reported. Colorado kindergartners have the lowest vaccination rate for measles in the country, reported the Denver Post. “We are going to have a large outbreak of measles,” said Dr. Edwin J. Asturias, a pediatrician with the Colorado School of Public Health.
  • Connecticut: The Connecticut Department of Public Health confirmed 2 measles case during 2019. The Connecticut General Assembly is considering a proposal to eliminate the provision that allows parents and guardians who enroll their children in public schools to exempt them from immunizations for religious reasons, reports Hartford Courant. 
  • Florida: One Florida resident has spent time in Florida while infectious, as of April 5, 2019. A total of 138 people who had possible exposure to the measles case have been identified during this ongoing investigation. There were 2 main exposure settings.
  • Georgia: There have been 3 reported cases of measles in Georgia, as of February 2019. No new measles cases have been reported since then, and the infected individuals were all unvaccinated.
  • Hawaii: During 2019, 2 measles cases in unvaccinated children visiting the Big Island from Washington state were reported, according to state epidemiologist Sarah Park. The State has not confirmed those cases. Dr. Miki Cain, a pediatrician with Hawaii Island Family Health Center, said to the Tribune-Herald  “probably very few things in medicine in general that are proven to be more beneficial,” and vaccines are the “top of the list on ways to optimize your child’s health.”
  • Illinois: The Illinois Health department confirmed 7 measles cases as of April 5, 2019. This data compares with just 5 cases during 2018. The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) reported 1 confirmed case of measles in a county resident with recent travel history to another country with ongoing measles transmission. The case was confirmed on March 26, 2019, and is no longer infectious. But this person may have exposed others before realizing she/he was sick.
  • Indiana: State health officials have confirmed 1 case of measles in northern Indiana on April 5, 2019. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is working with local health departments and healthcare providers in LaGrange and Steuben counties to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the patient while infectious. The Marion County Health Department warned residents of possible exposure to measles at 2 Indianapolis businesses on March 18, 2019.
  • Kentucky: One case of measles was previously confirmed by the Barren River District Health Department during February 2019. That child traveled to a country where measles is endemic. Additionally, Kentucky health officials confirmed a 2nd measles case, according to reporting by WKYT on April 3, 2019. These two individuals are siblings.
  • Massachusetts: On April 1, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed that 1 person was diagnosed with measles in greater Boston. During the infectious period, this individual went to locations around the Boston area where other people may have been exposed.
  • Michigan: As of April 5, 2019, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed 39 total measles cases statewide since March 13, 2019.  The Oakland County Health Division is offering vaccinations at their offices in Southfield and Pontiac and is hosting a special measles vaccination clinic open to the public Saturday, April 6, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road in Southfield.
  • Missouri: On March 13, 2019, a measles case was confirmed in eastern Missouri due to out-of-state exposure, reported the NewsTribune. It was not confirmed whether the person had been vaccinated.
  • New Hampshire: New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services says the measles-infected person transited through Boston, MA on February 26, 2019. The traveler boarded Boston Express Line bus # 5178 on February 26th. This bus left Boston Logan International Airport at 9:25 pm with passengers on board and then picked up the infectious traveler and others at 10:00 p.m. at South Station in Boston, MA. The bus made stops to drop passengers in Tyngsboro, MA at 10:45 p.m., Nashua, NH at 11:00 p.m. and arrived at its final destination in Manchester, NH at 11:30 p.m. No other public or healthcare exposures have been identified.
  • New Jersey: As of April 5, 2019, a total of 13 confirmed measles cases have been reported in New Jersey for 2019. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) says there are currently 11 outbreak-associated cases including 7 in Ocean County residents and 4 in one Monmouth County household. These cases, in addition to 1 highly suspect case, potentially exposed individuals to the infection in NJ between March 9 and March 14, 2019. Health officials have listed a dozen locations including Newark Airport, Monmouth Medical Center and locations around Lakewood where people could have been exposed to measles. Previously, Between October 2018 and January 2019, the NJDOH reported a total of 33 outbreak-associated measles cases, including 30 confirmed cases in Ocean County residents and 3 cases in one Passaic County household.
  • New York City: As of April 3, 2019, there have been 259 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens since October 2018. As of December 31, 2018, NYC had reported approximately 59 measles cases. Which indicates, an increase of approximately 200 cases during 2019. Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community. The initial child with measles was unvaccinated and acquired measles on a visit to Israel. NYC health says ‘if you plan to travel to Israel, protect yourself and your family against measles and get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at least two weeks in advance of your trip. If you have traveled to Israel and you have a fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose, and body rash, contact your doctor…. before going to their office.’
  • Monroe County, NY: As of April 6, 2019, the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported a total of 7 measles during 2019, and no reports during 2018.
  • Rockland County, NY: As of April 5, 2019, there are 167 confirmed reported cases of measles in Rockland County, New York. This new data indicates a one-week increase of 10 measles cases. At the end of December 2018, a total of 96 measles cases were reported by Patch.  Which indicates, there have been approximately 71 measles cases confirmed during 2019. To combat the ongoing outbreak, on March 26th, Rockland County NY declared State of Emergency saying ‘Under-Vaccinated Minors Barred From ‘Public Spaces’ in New York. But, on April 5, 2019, acting state Supreme Court Judge Rolf Thorsen issued an injunction stating that the 166 measles cases cited by the county since the measles outbreak began last October did not rise to the level of an epidemic or constitute a disaster. And, ‘Day's reliance on executive law in issuing the emergency declaration "may have been misplaced," the decision stated. 
  • Sullivan County, NY: Sullivan County reported 2 measles cases in residents on March 14, 2019, and no cases during 2018.
  • Westchester County, NY: The Westchester County Health Department reported 1 Monroe College student had been diagnosed with measles during 2019. Additionally, on April 4, 2019, Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said in a press release, ‘children who have received the MMR vaccine are free to visit Rockland County. Children who are uninsured or underinsured, and college students, can get the vaccine at Westchester County’s Health Clinics in White Plains and Yonkers.’
  • Oregon: As of April 5, 2019, there have been 11 measles cases confirmed. In Oregon, which has the highest kindergarten vaccine exemption rate in the USA, about 95% of parents whose kids skip one or more vaccines use a print-your-own certificate to do so. In the 2017-18 school year, 7.6% of kindergartners were exempt from one or more vaccines. That’s according to data from the Oregon Health Authority, nearly 30,000 parents watched an online educational video and then printed out a do-it-yourself exemption form, reports Oregon Live. Oregon is one of 17 states that allow exemptions based on philosophical opposition to vaccination, as well as religious or medical reasons.
  • Texas: As of April 5, 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 15 measles cases, with Harris County (Houston), reporting 5 cases. Dallas County Health and Human Services reported its first confirmed case of measles in a Dallas resident since 2017. This adult had been exposed to another confirmed measles case from Tarrant County at their mutual workplace in Dallas County on March 13, 2019, and subsequently developed measles symptoms on March 28, 2019. Texas had 9 confirmed measles cases in 2018 and 1 in 2017.
  • Washington: As of April 5, 2019, Clark County Public Health has confirmed 73 measles cases during 2019. And, the County is not currently investigating any suspect measles case.

NOTE: State-based data and news reports are approximate, subject to timing and transparency. Different sources provide slightly different numbers.

Previously, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 387 measles cases in 15 states, between January 1 and March 28, 2019. This is the 2nd highest number of cases reported in the USA since measles was declared eliminated by the CDC in 2000.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, says the CDC.

Which is why the CDC strongly recommends a measles prevention vaccine. Especially prior to traveling aboard. 

On March 11, 2019, in response to the ongoing, worldwide measles outbreak, the CDC updated 17 Travel Alerts for countries active cases.

Recent measles news:

In the USA, there are 2 approved measles vaccines, MMR-II and ProQuad, which are available from most pharmacies.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides private sector vaccine prices for general information. And, measles vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines are similar to medications and can cause side effects, says the CDC. Significant vaccine side effects should be reported to the CDC.