USA Measles Spotlight

702 Measles Cases Reported During 2019

Measles alerts issued in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Santa Clara County, California
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The ongoing measles outbreak in the USA has now reached approximately 702 cases, according to various local state and media sources. 

The most significant change in just 1 week was seen in the state of California. Recent reports indicate the measles outbreak in California may be rapidly expanding. 

As an example, the California Health Department reported an additional 13 measles cases in the past week. 

Moreover, media reports regarding Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Santa Clara measles exposures are very concerning: 

  • Los Angeles colleges, UCLA and Cal State LA, with a combined enrollment over 70,000 students, issued measles quarantine notices.
  • A measles-infected Santa Clara County resident rode Caltrain several times while ‘shedding’ the virus.
  • A traveler diagnosed with measles passed through the Long Beach Airport twice while infectious on March 30th and April 7, 2019.
  • The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 1 case of measles in a person who flew in and out of Los Angeles International Airport on April 18, 2019, while infectious. The number of confirmed cases in LA County residents remain at 5.

Separately, on the East Coast, New York City (NYC) remains the #1 measles hot-spot in the USA. Since the measles outbreak began in October 2018, approximately 21,009 individuals have received the measles vaccine in the Williamsburg and Borough Park sections of Brooklyn, in NYC. 

As of April 24, 2019, an additional 94 measles cases were reported by NYC during April. This increases the 2018-2019 measles outbreak total to 390 cases. 

NYC’s health department said ‘measles poses the highest risk to pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age and people with weakened immune systems.’ 

On an individual state basis, these 22 states have reported 702 measles cases during 2019:

  • Arizona: The Arizona Department of Health Services confirmed the 2nd measles case on April 18, 2019. The Arizona Republic found two large groups of unimmunized students attending schools in Arizona.
  • California: As of April 24, 2019, California has confirmed 38 measles cases during 2019.
  • Colorado: As of April 15, 2019, only 1 measles case was reported by the Colorado health department. State lawmakers recently introduced House Bill 1312, as an effort to boost the state's immunization rates by essentially making it less convenient for parents to get non-medical vaccine exemptions. The bill was set for a vote of the full House on April 25th.
  • Connecticut: The Connecticut Department of Public Health confirmed a 3rd measles case in 2019.
  • Florida: As of April 24th, a 2nd measles case has been confirmed. And, 311 people who had possible exposure to these measles cases, have been identified.
  • Georgia: As of April 26, 2019, 6 cases of measles have been confirmed during 2019.  The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed 3 new cases of measles in the metro Atlanta area. These individuals are all members of one family – none of whom were vaccinated.
  • Illinois: The Illinois Health department confirmed 7 measles cases as of April 26, 2019.  “We are taking the threat posed by a rise in measles cases very seriously and are committed to taking action to keep Illinoisans safe,” said Governor Pritzker. State data shows in Chicago and suburban Cook and Lake counties, there are 67 schools where less than 90% of their students have proof of vaccination.
  • Indiana: Health officials have confirmed 1 case of measles in northern Indiana on April 26, 2019.  The infected individual also spent some time in Sturgis in St. Joseph County, Michigan, and also in Texas, according to the Indiana state health department.
  • Iowa: A 2nd measles case has been confirmed in Iowa. The Iowa Public Health Department said this person is an unvaccinated household contact of the person in the first case, who also was unvaccinated. The department said the first person contracted measles while on a trip to Israel.
  • Kentucky: Kentucky health officials confirmed a 2nd measles case on April 3, 2019. The two children live in the Barren River District, in the southern part of the state. Officials said they weren't vaccinated and contracted measles while traveling outside the United States.
  • Maryland: On April 19th, the Maryland Department of Health confirmed a 4th measles case. The MDH wants to inform anyone who visited 4000 Old Court Rd in Pikesville on Tuesday, April 16 from 9:15 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. that they may have been exposed to measles. Individuals who may have been exposed at additional locations are being notified directly. Measles cases in Maryland have been localized to a small geographic area within zip codes 21208, 21209 and 21215. “While the outbreak is currently localized to a small area of the state, the best way to prevent measles in Maryland, or anywhere people might travel, is through vaccination,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Frances B. Phillips, RN, MHA.
  • Massachusetts: On April 1, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed that 1 person was diagnosed with measles. The patient, who was not identified, visited a Katie’s Burger Bar in Plymouth on March 26, A Waltham Starbucks on March 27, a Staples in Waltham, a Dunkin’ in Waltham’s Wal-Lex Shopping Center, a Whole Foods in Hyannis and a Target in Braintree all on March 28th. And, on April 9th, Hawthorn Medical Associates confirmed that a patient with measles had visited a facility on March 26th.
  • Michigan: As of April 17, 2019, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed 43 total measles cases in 2019. Statewide data provided showed that 75.2 percent of children between the ages of 15 and 18 months received the first dose of the MMR vaccine. For Michigan children between the ages of 19 and 35 months, that number hits 84.7 percent.
  • Missouri: On March 13th, 1 measles case was confirmed in eastern Missouri due to out-of-state exposure. It was not confirmed whether the person had been vaccinated.
  • Nevada: The Southern Nevada Health District reported 2 confirmed measles cases in Clark County on April 12, 2019.  
  • New Hampshire: New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services confirmed 1 measles-infected person on March 1, 2019. This international traveler visited New Hampshire when they were able to transmit the virus to others.
  • New Jersey: As of April 23, 2019, a total of 14 confirmed measles cases have been reported in New Jersey for 2019. And, the New Jersey Department of Health is warning residents of a highly suspect case of measles in a Middlesex County resident who may have exposed individuals in Monmouth County on April 17 and 19.
  • New York City: As of April 24, 2019, there have been 334 confirmed cases of measles in New York City during 2019. The initial child with measles was unvaccinated and acquired measles on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak of the disease is occurring. On April 9, the Health Commissioner ordered every adult and child who lives, works or resides in the certain ZIP codes and has not received the MMR vaccine to be vaccinated. On April 17th, the NYC Board of Health voted unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting the Commissioner's order and the vaccination requirement. If the Health Department identifies a person with measles or an unvaccinated child exposed to measles in one of the designated ZIP codes, that individual or their parent or guardian could be fined $1,000.
  • Monroe County, NY: As of April 24, 2019, the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported 7 measles during 2019.
  • Rockland County, NY: As of April 26, 2019, there were 201 confirmed measles cases in Rockland County, New York. At the end of 2018, a total of ​83 ​measles cases were reported. Which indicates, there have been approximately 1​18 ​measles cases confirmed during 2019. The Rockland County Executive, Ed Day said on April 24th, that he is renewing the 30-day state of emergency to combat the measles outbreak. The original state of emergency was issued March 26th.
  • Sullivan County, NY: On March 14, 2019, 2 confirmed measles cases in Sullivan County were reported. A message from Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw, LCSW, MBA, MPH, dated April 17, 2019, said ‘We have sent a letter to all summer camp operators through the NYS Department of Health office in Monticello and all Sullivan County youth summer recreational youth camps. Should it become necessary to conduct immunization clinics or push out communications for the public to be aware of, our offices have a plan in place to ensure immediate notification of all districts or a specific school, as appropriate.
  • Westchester County, NY: Measles has been confirmed in 8 children who all are from Northern Westchester. None of the children attend public schools or childcare programs. The Health Department vaccinated 92 people at three MMR clinics held earlier in April 2019. Dr. Amler cautioned anyone who thinks they have measles to call their doctor and report their symptoms. They should not go to a health care facility unannounced, to avoid spreading measles to others.
  • Oregon: As of April 22, 2019, a total of 14 measles cases have been confirmed during 2019.
  • Tennessee: The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed 1 measles cases during April 2019. Dr. Tim Jones, an epidemiologist for the Tennessee Department of Health, said there's some discussion about whether people who got an early version of the vaccine might be less protected, but that in general, boosters aren't being recommended to people who already have been vaccinated.
  • Texas: As of April 5, 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 15 measles cases. Texas confirmed just 9 measles cases in 2018.
  • Washington: As of April 26, 2019, there were 73 confirmed measles cases since January 1, 2019. The date of the last confirmed case was Monday, March 18th. Public Health will declare the outbreak over after 42 days without new measles cases.

NOTE: State-based data and news reports are approximate, subject to timing.

As of 3 p.m. on April 24, 2019, the CDC reported 695 cases of measles from 22 states. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated from this country in 2000.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Which is why the CDC strongly recommends a measles prevention vaccine. 

Especially prior to traveling aboard. International travelers are a leading source for measles cases in the USA. 

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

Measles vaccine discounts and financial assistance can be found at Vaccine Discounts.

Recent measles news:

"All Americans would be safer and healthier if we received measles vaccines on the recommended schedule. The Department of Health and Human Services will undertake a comprehensive campaign to reinforce the message that vaccines are safe and effective ways to protect your children, your family, yourself, and your neighbors,” said HHS Secretary Azar.

Relevant Links:  CDC vaccination schedules, CDC vaccine price list, international travel alerts, and report vaccine side effects