US Measles Cases Already Top Last Year's Total

Number of 2019 measles cases surpasses total for 2018

More measles cases in the US in first 3 months of 2019 than all of 2018: CDC

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update on the number of measles cases in recent months in the United States. And in 2014, the USA experienced 23 measles outbreaks, including one of 383 cases that occurred primarily among unvaccinated Amish communities in Ohio. The extremely virus is airborne, and spread via coughing and sneezing.

In the three-month period from January 1 to March 28, there have been 387 individual cases of measles confirmed in the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC recommends the MMR vaccine, which protects an individual against three different diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

"Until measles is eliminated globally we will continue to see imported cases of measles across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland".

The majority of sufferers have not been vaccinated, and in the U.S many outbreaks triggered by travellers from countries where measles is still common. Also, measles can cause pregnant women to deliver prematurely.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention warned the public Tuesday that a MA resident who had been diagnosed with measles visited two businesses in greater Portland last week, possibly exposing staff and customers to the virus.

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"We're going to still need to maintain population immunity for some time until we can actually get vaccination levels high all over the world, so that no one is at risk", Amesh Adalja from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security tells NPR, adding that keeping numbers down is challenging because it's so contagious. And still the number crosses the sum total of past year.

The first quarter of this year and all of last year are on the higher end for the past decade, though the year with the most cases came in 2014, when there were 667 cases over the course of the year, according to CDC data. Since the measles vaccine was introduced, there have been an over 99 percent decrease in measles cases in the country.

Because of the low rate of vaccination, more people are vulnerable to measles.

ME health officials said they were notified Monday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that the individual - the person's gender has not been disclosed - had a confirmed case of measles.

Meanwhile, the CDC defines an "outbreak" as three or more cases in an area.

"As evident from the measles outbreaks now impacting communities in several states, when individuals are not immunized as a matter of personal preference or misinformation, they put themselves and others at risk of disease".

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