Measles accelerates to second-highest level in US in 25 years and over 100,000 global cases

The number of measles cases in the United States made its biggest jump of the year, with 90 new cases reported in just one week, according to numbers release...

Posted: Apr 15, 2019 1:38 PM

The number of measles cases in the United States made its biggest jump of the year, with 90 new cases reported in just one week, according to numbers released Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With 555 total cases, 2019 now has the second-highest number of measles cases in the United States in 25 years -- and the year isn't even half over.

"I'm obviously very concerned about the size and also acceleration of the current outbreak," said Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "This is not going to stop on its own."

Measles isn't just rising in the United States. The World Health Organization reported Monday there were more than 110,000 measles cases worldwide in the first three months of 2019 -- an increase of nearly 300% from the same period last year.

The data is provisional, and the actual number of measles cases is likely higher, as WHO estimates that less than 1 in 10 cases globally are reported to the agency.

Ukraine had the highest number of cases in the past 12 months, with more than 72,000 cases, followed by Madagascar and India with more than 69,000 and 60,000 cases respectively. WHO warned that there are delays in reporting and this data may be incomplete.

A 'fast-moving, life-threatening disease'

"By the time you finish reading this, we estimate that at least 40 people -- most of them children -- will be infected by this fast-moving, life-threatening disease," Henrietta Fore, executive director of UNICEF and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, wrote in an opinion piece Monday on CNN.

About 1 out of every 1,000 children who gets measles will develop encephalitis or swelling of the brain, according to the CDC. This can lead to convulsions and leave a child deaf or with an intellectual disability.

Additionally, 1 or 2 out of 1,000 children who get measles will die from it.

No fatalities have been reported in the United States from measles this year or last year, but 35 people in European Union countries died of the disease in 2018, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Before the first measles vaccine became available in 1963, the disease killed hundreds of people and hospitalized 48,000 each year, according to the CDC.

After the vaccine, cases plummeted, with 963 cases in 1994. In 2000, the disease was declared eliminated in the United States. Despite the ongoing outbreaks in communities across the United States, measles is still considered eliminated, which means it is not being continuously transmitted in this country. Measles would no longer be considered eliminated once it was continuously transmitted for longer than 12 months.

The CDC recommends two doses of the measles mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine for children. The first should be given at 12 to 15 months and the second when the child is 4 to 6 years old. The first dose gives 93% protection against measles and the second dose gives 97% protection.

The anti-vaxer movement

Experts point to one reason for this year's large outbreak: the power of the anti-vaccination movement.

"It's just terribly sad that children in the US are having to suffer measles. This should not happen," said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and an adviser to the CDC on vaccines. "We'd previously eliminated this disease not just in the US but in the entire Western Hemisphere, and it appears that now we've profoundly and sadly turned back the clock."

The 20 states reporting measles this year are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Most of the cases have been in New York, site of an outbreak among ultra-Orthodox Jews that started in the fall.

Messonier says the New York outbreak has been particularly difficult to control.

"Most measles outbreaks in the US stop sooner than this," she said.

Health officials there announced last week that in the neighborhoods affected by the outbreak, anyone who has not had been vaccinated against measles or cannot show evidence of immunity could face a $1,000 fine.

Health officials in Rockland County, New York, tried to bar unvaccinated children from public places, but a judge prohibited the county from enforcing that rule.

Messonier said it's a matter of "correcting myths" about vaccination. Health authorities have worked with rabbis to explain that vaccination is safe, but that still hasn't turned the outbreak around.

"You have to just approach people where they are and answer their questions," Messonier said. "It's about the slow work of developing trust."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 78632

Reported Deaths: 3113
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16437734
Lake7952283
Elkhart505191
Allen4161164
St. Joseph376683
Hamilton3033104
Vanderburgh212215
Hendricks1978109
Johnson1819119
Cass18139
Porter141539
Clark135250
Tippecanoe129312
Madison106266
LaPorte96730
Howard94865
Kosciusko87812
Bartholomew86747
Floyd86150
Marshall80523
Monroe78432
Vigo77913
Delaware77752
Dubois72912
Noble71729
Boone71646
Hancock70239
Warrick61230
Jackson6075
Shelby57328
LaGrange57110
Grant53330
Dearborn52828
Morgan50135
Henry46720
Clinton4624
Wayne41010
White38411
Montgomery36721
Harrison36524
Lawrence35927
Decatur35332
Putnam3318
Daviess29620
Scott28110
Miami2792
Jasper2662
Greene25934
Franklin25116
Gibson2464
DeKalb2444
Jennings23312
Ripley2218
Steuben2173
Carroll2135
Fayette2097
Perry18913
Orange18824
Posey1840
Starke1817
Wabash1805
Wells1802
Fulton1752
Jefferson1752
Knox1711
Sullivan1631
Whitley1626
Tipton15516
Washington1531
Clay1505
Spencer1403
Randolph1345
Huntington1303
Adams1242
Newton12110
Owen1131
Rush1004
Jay970
Pulaski841
Brown762
Fountain762
Pike670
Blackford662
Benton640
Ohio636
Vermillion620
Switzerland590
Parke581
Martin530
Crawford500
Union420
Warren251
Unassigned0207

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 106557

Reported Deaths: 3784
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin19287533
Cuyahoga14120523
Hamilton10001262
Lucas5609324
Montgomery4619101
Summit3749225
Butler310569
Marion295645
Mahoning2665259
Pickaway241142
Stark1947142
Warren191440
Lorain188477
Columbiana170461
Trumbull1598112
Fairfield147334
Delaware139219
Licking139053
Clark123516
Lake116343
Wood111558
Clermont100011
Medina98836
Miami89339
Allen84246
Tuscarawas80614
Portage78264
Greene76512
Mercer67613
Richland63512
Belmont62926
Erie62630
Madison58710
Ashtabula58246
Wayne58160
Geauga56445
Ross5285
Darke44230
Sandusky42117
Hancock4153
Huron4145
Ottawa40827
Athens3662
Lawrence3340
Holmes3326
Auglaize2888
Union2801
Muskingum2651
Scioto2651
Seneca2454
Jefferson2403
Shelby2344
Preble2302
Putnam22117
Knox2199
Washington21222
Coshocton1999
Champaign1922
Morrow1882
Hardin18312
Crawford1815
Clinton1806
Logan1742
Highland1712
Perry1693
Fulton1601
Ashland1593
Wyandot1589
Defiance1574
Brown1532
Williams1393
Fayette1270
Henry1252
Hocking1239
Guernsey1217
Carroll1155
Monroe9618
Gallia852
Pike810
Jackson790
Paulding740
Van Wert732
Adams682
Meigs660
Morgan320
Vinton322
Harrison261
Noble190
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Huntington
Few Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Decatur
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
72° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Weekend Storm Chances
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events