387 cases of measles-sick people have been confirmed in the 2019, in 15 states of the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This figure surpasses that reported throughout the 2018 with a total of 372 cases and 17 outbreaks in new York state, new York City and New Jersey, and is the second highest number recorded since the health officials of this country declared that the disease , highly contagious and sometimes deadly, was «eliminated » in 2000. The largest number of cases reported since the elimination was 667 in 2014.
The states reporting cases are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington, according to data published by the CDC.
Many of these outbreaks originated after unvaccinated people travelled to Europe, the Philippines, and Israel, where the infection is most common, and returned to the United States after the disease was contracted. According To the World Health Organization (WHO), about 83.000 people contracted measles in Europe in 2018, the highest number in a decade.
Last week, in an effort to contain a measles outbreak that began in October, Rockland County, New York, banned non-vaccinated persons under 18 years of age from entering public places. Until Friday, 153 cases had been reported in this county. The prohibition, which will be in force for 30 days, provoked a backlash from a small group of anti-vaccination advocates, who compared the measure with Nazi persecution of Jews.
At The global level, measles is a major concern. WHO describes the disease as a major cause of death among young children, despite having an effective vaccine, the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. More than 110.000 people, mostly children, died of measles worldwide in 2017. The last measles death recorded in The United States was in 2015.
Common symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, cough, and a rash that can spread all over the body. A very small number of the infected can develop pneumonia, inflammation of the brain or other serious symptoms. Measles can cause pregnant women to have premature birth.