Global measles cases up 300 percent year-on-year

Leslie Hanson
April 16, 2019

The majority of the new cases are connected to an outbreak in New York City and New York State, Cohn says.

In the year 2000, USA health officials announced they had eliminated measles from American life. By the end of the year, the number of measles cases in the United States could come close to the tally reported 25 years ago in 1994: 963 cases.

"This is a very significant outbreak", she says.

Last week, New York City declared a public health emergency in an ultra-Orthodox community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and New York City's health department is mandating parents vaccinate their children, else they may face a $1,000 fine.

In 2014, the United States reported a record 667 cases, including one large outbreak primarily among unvaccinated Amish communities in OH that accounted for more than half of the cases.

Since the beginning of 2019, 555 cases of measles have been confirmed in the United States, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If the outbreaks - which prompted the Big Apple to order mandatory vaccinations last week - aren't brought under control, health experts fear the number of cases in 2019 could set a 20-year record since measles were supposedly eliminated from the US.

In response to recent measles outbreaks, calls have mounted in several countries to make immunisation mandatory.

After the vaccine, cases plummeted, with 963 cases in 1994. "Prior to the 1960's when the vaccine was introduced there were a couple million cases of measles and 400 to 500 deaths a year, thousands and thousands of hospitalizations and a thousand cases of encephalitis [inflammation of the brain]".

Measles cases rose 300 percent worldwide through the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period previous year, surging to over 112,000 reported cases - and likely many more unreported - the United Nations said Monday, as concern grows over the impact of anti-vaccination stigma. And once the disease lands stateside, it has a better chance of gaining a foothold because vaccination rates have dropped in some places below 93 to 95 percent, the threshold required to protect the entire community.

Measles can be an extremely serious disease. "The disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people", it added. About 25 percent of infected children are hospitalized. In about 1 in 1,000 cases, the infection becomes life-threatening. Children can be left deaf, blind or with mental retardation - if they recover.

The CDC recommends that children get two doses of MMR vaccine, with the first dose administered at between 12 and 15 months of age and the second dose at four to six years of age.

"Measles is not a trivial disease " In January, WHO named the anti-vaccination movement among the top 10 global health threats for 2019.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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