Monday, 24 June, 2019

Number of measles cases surpasses 1000 in US

Anti-vaccine activist Del Bigtree speaks with journalists before entering an anti-vaccine event in Brooklyn Anti-vaccine activist Del Bigtree speaks with journalists before entering an anti-vaccine event in Brooklyn
Gustavo Carr | 09 June, 2019, 10:09

There are now 1,001 measles cases according to the agency, 20 more cases than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Monday in its weekly update. The agency said there have been 1,001 cases so far this year.

The national measles tally exceeded 1,000 cases this week, spurring HHS Secretary Alex Azar to renew his call for vaccinations.

It said in the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, roughly 3-4 million people contracted the virus annually in the USA, resulting in between 400 to 500 deaths each year and 48,000 hospitalizations.

Even though NY city officials began requiring residents in heavily affected areas, many with large Orthodox Jewish communities, to be vaccinated starting in April, the city still had 173 cases that month and 60 in May.

The last time America saw this many cases was in 1992 when over 2,000 cases were reported by that year's end.

The number of measles cases in the US has surpassed 1,000, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

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Clark County in Washington state had the second-largest outbreak in the USA this year with more than 70 cases reported.

"Measles is an incredibly contagious and unsafe disease", Azar said.

Once a person has measles, about 90% of close contacts who are susceptible to it will develop the disease. The signs include high fever, couch, runny nose, rash, and red, watery eyes.

In response to the outbreak, CDC has developed a toolkit with resources to increase public awareness and address safety concerns associated with the vaccines, stemming from misinformation.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference declaring a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn in response to a measles outbreak, requiring unvaccinated people living in the affected areas to get the vaccine or face fines, in the Orthodox Jewish community of the Williamsburg neighborhood, in Brooklyn, New York City, US, April 9, 2019. "I encourage all Americans to talk to your doctor about what vaccines are recommended to protect you, your family, and your community from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases".