U.S. May Lose Measles Free Status

Measles outbreaks in Chicago, New York, California
measles cases US
US CDC measles case trends April 12, 2024
Atlanta (Precision Vaccinations News)

After being designated measles-free for two decades, the United States risks losing its status due to recent measles outbreaks.

Over the past fifteen months, 338 cases of measles have been reported in the U.S. Among these cases, 96% were associated with measles virus importation.

Among the 326 import-associated measles cases, 61% occurred among U.S. residents who were eligible for vaccination but were unvaccinated or whose vaccination status was unknown.

Furthermore, in 2024 alone, seven measles outbreaks (3+ cases) have been reported in the U.S.

This year alone, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 121 measles cases in eighteen jurisdictions this year: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

About 56% of these cases were hospitalized (68 of 121 cases).

Furthermore, in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published on April 11, 2024, the CDC says the increased number of measles cases in 2024 is related to unvaccinated travelers in a few key cities, such as:

The Chicago Department of Public Health confirmed 61 cases.

The New York State Department of Health confirmed four measles cases in NYC and one in Nassau County. 

California has reported six confirmed measles cases in San Diego, Los Angeles County, and one at UC Davis.

Many of these measles cases in 2024 can be traced to people who recently visited any of the 49 countries the U.S. CDC has identified.

The CDC says increasing the 2-dose measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination rate is essential to reduce these outbreaks.

Furthermore, enhanced efforts are needed to increase MMR vaccination coverage, encourage vaccination before international travel, identify communities at risk for measles transmission, and rapidly investigate suspected measles cases before outbreaks occur.

Although the risk of broad transmission is low, measles is highly contagious, and “pockets of low coverage leave some communities at higher risk for outbreaks,” the CDC noted.

Measles vaccines are available throughout the U.S. at health clinics and community pharmacies. Monovalent measles vaccines are offered in other countries.

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