More Than 100 People Contracted Measles in 21 States, CDC Says
OKLAHOMA — August 16, 2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday afternoon that 107 people from 21 states, including New York, New Jersey, and Oklahoma, have reported contracting the measles.
Among the other states are Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Connecticut, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.
The number will likely outpace the number of measles cases reported in 2017.
There were 118 cases in 2017, and only 86 the year before that. The largest outbreak was in 2015 when 188 people contracted measles.
The scientists linked the outbreak with a traveler from overseaswho brought it back to the U.S. It happened at an amusement park in California. Analysis by CDC scientists showed that the measles virus type in this outbreak (B3) was identical to the virus type that caused the large measles outbreak in the Philippines in 2014.
According to the CDC
- The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
- Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.
- Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
- Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.
Measles is an airborne virus that spreads through coughing and sneezing. It was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000 but continues to circulate in many regions of the world and can be imported into the United States by travelers.
The CDC believes that measles comes in from countries where Americans frequently travel, such as England, France, Germany, India, the Philippines and Vietnam. Worldwide, about 20 million people get measles each year.
Symptoms show up in 10 to 14 days after exposure. It lasts seven to 10 days and includes a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that typically starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.The measles vaccine is highly effective, with 1 dose being 93% effective and 2 doses being 97% effective at preventing measles.
This outbreak demonstrates the challenge of combating misinformation about the MMR vaccine and the importance of creating long-term, trusted relationships with communities to disseminate scientific information in a culturally appropriate and effective manner.
Complications from measles can get much more serious, including death. In 2011, 158 people died from the disease, according to the World Health Organization. Most of them were children under 5 years. Complications can come to the Central nervous system, respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract.
There's no specific treatment for measles, but the Mayo Clinic recommends using fever reducers, antibiotics and Vitamin A to treat symptoms.
New Jersey has had three confirmed measles cases in 2018, all linked to international travel. The New Jersey Department of Health is currently not investigating any new cases.
Earlier in April–May 2017, there was an outbreak of measles in Minnesota when the patient was a hospitalized child aged 25 months who was evaluated for fever and rash. His brother and sister, aged 19 months, who had the same symptoms, were hospitalized later.
Because the outbreak occurred in a community with low MMR vaccination coverage, the measles spread rapidly, resulting in thousands of children being exposed. By May 31, 2017, a total of 65 confirmed measles cases had been reported to MDH.