Outbreaks across the U.S. have forced officials to declare emergencies. Why are we starting to see the rise of these outbreaks? It dates back to the anti-vax movement.
Just the FAQs, USA TODAY
The number of measles cases recorded across the U.S. rose by almost 100 last week as the annual total continued its march toward record levels, federal health officials reported Monday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 465 cases have been confirmed in 19 states so far in 2019, the second highest total since measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. almost two decades ago.
The numbers are up sharply from even a week ago, when the total number of cases stood at 387 in 15 states. There were 372 cases last year; the highest total since 2000 was 667 in 2014.
The surge has been fueled in part by the anti-vaccination movement – most people who contract measles have not been vaccinated, the CDC said. Measles are extremely contagious.
“If one person has it, up to 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected,” the CDC said.
Globally, the World Health Organization describes the disease as a prominent cause of death among young children, despite the availability of an effective vaccine. More than 110,000 people, mostly children, died of measles worldwide in 2017. The last U.S. measles death on record was in 2015.
Most of the U.S. cases this year involve “outbreaks” – defined as three or more localized cases – now in New York, New Jersey, Washington, California and Michigan, the CDC said. The outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from countries including Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines, the CDC said.
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