USA Measles Spotlight

390 Measles Cases Reported in Just Three States During 2019

MMR-II and ProQuad measles vaccines are available from most pharmacies
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(Precision Vaccinations)

 According to various state governments and news publishers, the measles outbreaks during 2019 continue to expand throughout the USA. 

The majority of the measles cases reported during 2019 are segmented into 2 categories, which are under-vaccinated individuals or related to international travel. 

Countries such as Israel, the Philippines, and Ukraine continue to report significant measles outbreaks, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

In response to this worldwide measles epidemic, the CDC reissued 17 Travel Alerts, on March 11, 2019. 

The measles virus can easily spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated. Currently, the 4 leading measles hot-spots in the USA as of March 17, 2019, are as follows: 

  1. New York: 307 measles cases have been reported; in NYC, as of March 12th, there have been 158 measles cases, in Rockland County, as of March 14th, 2019, there are 147 measles cases, and in Sullivan County, 2 confirmed cases.
  2. Washington: in Clark County, as of March 15th, 2019, there have been 72 measles cases.
  3. Texas: as of March 8, 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 11 measles cases during 2019.

 These 3 states have reported (390) measles cases, which exceeds the CDC data for the January to March 12, 2019, which confirmed just 228 measles cases in 12 states. 

This data disparity is generally related to reporting timing. 

Listed below are various state-based measles updates for the week ending March 17, 2019.

  • Arizona: The Pima County measles case involves a 12-month-old baby.  Paula Mandel, Deputy Director of the Pima County Health Department, says ‘he child did not enter the infectious phase until it was back in Arizona.
  • California: As of March 7, 2019, six confirmed measles cases during 2019. During 2018, 21 confirmed measles cases were reported in California. Evidence of California vaccination rates can be found in the 2017-2018 Kindergarten Immunization Assessment. The overall required vaccine rate in CA was 95.1 percent in 2018. This has climbed from around 90 percent in 2014. Marin and San Francisco counties remain in the yellow range, with MMR vaccination rates that are below 95%. For context, Alameda is at 97.1 percent, and San Mateo is at 96.9 percent. Additionally, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 1 case of measles in a person who traveled through LAX airport while infectious on Thursday, February 21, 2019. 
  • Colorado: Just 1 adult with measles has been confirmed as of February 27, 2019.  A February 2019 report, during the 2017-18 school year, only 88.7 percent of kindergarteners in Colorado received the MMR vaccine. 
  • Connecticut: The Connecticut Department of Public Health confirmed the 2nd case of measles in New Haven County. On Feb. 7th, CTNewsJunkie requested information from the state Department of Public Health regarding the number of unvaccinated children in each Connecticut town. The DPH denied this request on March 5, 2019.   
  • Georgia: The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed measles in 3 residents of the metro Atlanta area. Two cases of measles were confirmed 1/13/2019 and the third measles case was confirmed 1/26/2019.
  • Hawaii: The Hawaii State Department of Health confirmed 2 measles cases during 2019.  
  • Illinois: The Illinois Health department confirmed 6 measles cases during 2019.
  • Kentucky: One case of measles has been confirmed in a young child who was unvaccinated, reported the Kentucky Department for Public Health on February 15, 2019.
  • Michigan: As of March 1st, there were 4 cases of measles during 2019. Additionally, on March 15, 2019, Health officials have confirmed a case of travel-related measles in Oakland County. Officials said the individual was visiting from Israel and came to the Detroit area after visiting New York. The person made multiple stops in Metro Detroit and health officials warn that people could have been exposed to measles at the following locations. 
  • New Hampshire: The Boston Public Health Commission alerted the public of measles exposure. On February 26, 2019, an individual with confirmed measles traveled from New York City to Boston and subsequently to New Hampshire.
  • New Jersey: The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is warning residents about 4 confirmed cases of measles. In unrelated incidents: A Bergen County resident developed measles after contact with a community outside New Jersey experiencing an ongoing outbreak of measles and potentially exposed individuals in Bergen County; An Essex County resident developed measles following travel from a country that is currently experiencing an ongoing outbreak of measles; and 2 Ocean County residents were confirmed to have measles and potentially exposed individuals in Ocean County between February 26 and March 5th. And New Jersey health officials said on March 14, 2019, that a 3rd confirmed case of the contagious disease means that authorities are considering this a new outbreak. Previously, the NJDOH had declared between October 2018 and January 2019, a total of 33 measles cases were identified in an outbreak in Ocean County.
  • New York City: As of March 12, 2019, there have been 158 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens since October 2018. The initial child with measles was unvaccinated and acquired measles on a visit to Israel, where a large outbreak of the disease is occurring. Since then, there have been additional people from Brooklyn and Queens who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel.
  • Monroe County NY: The Monroe County Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of 7 measles cases during 2019. A person is considered immune and is unlikely to get measles if they were born before January 1, 1957, or have received two doses of the MMR vaccine.
  • Rockland County NY: As of March 14, 2019, there are 147 confirmed reported cases of measles in Rockland County, NY. Statistics released by the County show that over 81% of these patients say they did not have an MMR vaccine.
  • Sullivan County, NY:  Public Health Department has been notified of two positive cases of measles in Sullivan County residents. The individuals are considered to have been contagious from March 4 to March 12, 2019.
  • Westchester County, NY: The Westchester County Health Department was notified that a Monroe College student has been diagnosed with measles.  The student is a resident of New York City. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.
  • Oregon: As of March 12, 2019, there have been 4 confirmed measles cases in Oregon related to an outbreak in Washington state. And 3 additional cases are not linked to the outbreak. Chief medical officer, Dr. Richard Leman said outbreaks can be tracked by comparing measles RNA. “So it’s an RNA virus, and there are things we can do with that. But that takes much longer. So really the epidemiology is the gold standard and we can follow that up with fancy tests.”
  • Texas: As of March 8, 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed 11 measles cases in Texas during 2019. DSHS is urging health care providers to consider measles when diagnosing patients because of early identification, along with immunization, is key to preventing measles from spreading. Previously, DSHS had 9 confirmed cases in 2018.
  • Washington: As of March 15, 2019, Clark County Public Health (CCPH) has confirmed 72 measles cases during 2019.  The majority of these people were not immunized, according to the county’s public health department. And, more than 800 students considered exposed to measles in Clark County, have been ordered to stay away from classrooms for up to 3 weeks. “School exclusions are a critical tool and public health strategy to control outbreaks of disease in school settings,” state health department epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist said in a statement. “We have to be aggressive in identifying cases, isolating them and reducing public exposure to slow the spread and protect Washington residents.”   

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