Medicine

Measles Outbreak: Latest Numbers Still Show New York Main Point Of Infection

Measles Outbreak: Latest Numbers Still Show New York Main Point Of Infection

The outbreak there began when an unvaccinated child traveled to Israel and returned home with the highly contagious disease, New York City health officials have said.

"We all knew that what was really driving the return of diseases like measles was the growing vaccine refusal, the anti-vax movement", said UT Austin professor Sahotra Sarkar. "So, for the first time since the 1980s, we may expect infant deaths from measles in the U.S". This is the greatest number of cases reported in the US since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

The 2019 outbreak has not spread to any additional states since last week, when Pennsylvania became the latest state to confirm at least one case.

In Washington, meanwhile, an outbreak that was centered in Clark County and sickened more than 70 people - majority young children who were unvaccinated - was declared over late last month. Lawmakers in CT are trying to remove the religious exemption from vaccines.

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The United States recorded 75 new measles cases last week, taking confirmed cases for the year so far to 839, the worst outbreak since 1994, federal health officials said on Monday.

The vaccine is 93% effective against measles after one dose and 97% effective after two doses. "We can stop the outbreak", said Dr. Shadowen.

The New York outbreaks, for example, reportedly began with infected travelers who brought measles back from Europe, and have been concentrated largely among Orthodox Jewish communities.

The new study, released May 9, identified the 25 USA counties most at-risk for a measles outbreak, based on "the area's volume of global travel from foreign countries with large measles outbreaks and the prevalence of nonmedical exemptions from childhood vaccinations". Of those cases, 41 were reported by New York City and 25 were reported by Rockland County. Measles vaccination rates climbed above 90%, where they've remained.

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