USA Measles Spotlight

622 Measles Cases Reported By 22 States During 2019

NYC Health Department issued 3 civil summonses, subject to fines, to people who failed to comply with the Health Commissioner’s Emergency Order mandating measles vaccination

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The 2019 measles outbreak in the USA has now reached approximately 622 reported cases in 22 states. 

Moreover, the #1 measles hot-spot in the USA has begun issuing legal summons and potential fines, to under-vaccinated residents. 

On April 18, 2019, the New York City Health Department today announced it is issuing 3 civil summonses, subject to fines, to people who failed to comply with the Health Commissioner’s Emergency Order mandating measles vaccination in certain zip codes in NYC. 

This announcement said ‘any person receiving these summons is entitled to a hearing, and if the hearing officer upholds the summons, a $1,000 penalty will be imposed. Failing to appear at the hearing or respond to the summons will result in a $2,000 fine.’ 

As of April 18, 2019, there have been 359 confirmed measles cases in NYC since October 2018. NYC reported approximately 59 measles cases as of December 31, 2018, which indicates, approximately 300 measles cases reported during 2019. 

On an individual state basis, these 22 states have reported 622 measles cases during 2019:

  • Arizona: The Arizona Department of Health Services has confirmed the 2nd measles case in 2019. On April 18, 2019, a Guatemalan national in the custody of Yuma Sector Border Patrol was determined to have measles.
  • California: As of April 17, 2019, California has confirmed 23 measles cases during 2019. As of March 2019, 21 confirmed measles cases were reported in California in 2018.
  • Colorado: As of April 2019, only 1 measles case was reported by the Colorado health department.
  • Connecticut: The Connecticut Department of Public Health confirmed the 3rd measles case in 2019 in an adult from New Haven County. The latest case had rash onset on April 11, 2019.  The infectious period for this individual was between April 7-12, 2019.
  • Florida: In March 2019, 1 measles case was reported. A total of 15 cases were reported in 2018.
  • Georgia: As of April 2019, just 3 cases of measles have been confirmed during 2019.
  • Hawaii: During 2019, 2 measles cases in unvaccinated children visiting the Big Island were confirmed. Vaccination exemption rates vary throughout East Hawaii schools, according to recently released numbers. Haaheo Elementary, with a student body of 196, has a religious exemption rate of 9.2 percent. 
  • Illinois: The Illinois Health department confirmed 7 measles cases as of April 15, 2019.
  • Indiana: Health officials have confirmed 1 case of measles in northern Indiana on April 18, 2019.
  • Iowa: A 2nd measles case has been confirmed in Iowa. This person was identified as part of the initial case investigation and was under a public health voluntary confinement order in the home to prevent further exposures.
  • Kentucky: Kentucky health officials confirmed a 2nd measles case on April 3, 2019.
  • Maryland: On April 17th, the Maryland Department of Health confirmed a 3rd measles case. “It is concerning that three cases of measles have been identified in Maryland in such a short period of time,” 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. And, on April 9th officials with Hawthorn Medical Associates confirmed that a patient with measles had visited a facility. Authorities have not said whether that patient is the same person who visited Hawthorn Medical in Dartmouth on March 26th.
  • Michigan: As of April 17, 2019, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed 43 total measles cases in 2019. The outbreak, which began in mid-March, has resulted in 40 cases in Oakland County, 1 in Wayne County and 1 in the City of Detroit. In addition, 1 international traveler was diagnosed with measles following a visit to Washtenaw County, during which time he was contagious.
  • Missouri: Just 1 measles case was confirmed in eastern Missouri due to out-of-state exposure. According to the United Health Foundation, Missouri ranked 21st alongside Alabama for vaccination rates of children ages 19 months to just under age 3.
  • New Hampshire: New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services confirmed 1 measles-infected person on March 1, 2019.
  • New Jersey: As of April 18, 2019, a total of 13 confirmed measles cases have been reported in New Jersey for 2019.
  • New York City: As of April 18, 2019, there have been 359 confirmed cases of measles in New York City since October 2018. NYC had reported approximately 59 measles cases as of December 31, 2018, which indicates, an increase of approximately 300 cases during 2019. On April 17th, the Board of Health voted unanimously to adopt a resolution supporting the Commissioner's order and the vaccination requirement. NYC residents who can demonstrate they are immune from measles or have a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the vaccine will not need to get vaccinated. 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 18, 2019, the Monroe County Department of Public Health reported 7 measles during 2019.
  • Rockland County, NY: As of April 18, 2019, there are 193 confirmed measles cases in Rockland County, New York. At the end of December 2018, a total of 96 measles cases were reported. Which indicates, there have been approximately 97 measles cases confirmed during 2019.
  • Sullivan County, NY: On March 14, 2019, 2 confirmed cases in Sullivan County were reported. Since then, Public Health staff have been conducting investigations on several additional residents who were exposed to individuals from NYC who were positive for measles.
  • 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 children range in age from six months to 14 years old.
  • Oregon: As of April 9, 2019, a total of 10 measles cases have been confirmed during 2019. There have been 4 confirmed measles cases in Oregon related to an outbreak in Clark County, Washington, and 6 additional Oregon cases are not linked to the Washington outbreak.
  • Tennessee: The Tennessee Department of Health is investigating 1 case of measles after the State Public Health Laboratory confirmed a positive test for the illness in a resident of East Tennessee, as of April 18, 2019.
  • Texas: As of April 9, 2019, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 15 measles cases. Dallas County HHS reported its first confirmed case of measles in a resident since 2017. Texas confirmed just 9 measles cases in 2018. DSHS is urging health care providers to consider measles when diagnosing patients, early identification, along with immunization, is key to preventing measles from spreading.
  • Washington: As of April 16, 2019, there were 73 confirmed measles cases and is not currently investigating any suspect cases, since January 1, 2019.

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

From January 1 to April 11, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 555 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 20 states. This is the 2nd-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was ‘officially’ eliminated 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.

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Especially prior to traveling aboard.

As of April 15, 2019, the World Health Organization reported 170 countries had confirmed 112,163 measles cases during 2019.

To better inform international travelers, the CDC updated 17 Travel Alerts for countries reporting measles cases on March 11, 2019.

Recent measles news:

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.

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