News

A bunch of people are getting Measles

A bunch of people are getting Measles

MEASLES:Between Jan. 1 and May 23 of this year, 288 measles cases were reported to the federal health agency, the highest year-to-date total since 1994, officials said. Photo: Associated Press

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Measles cases have hit a 20-year high in the United States, a troubling increase fueled by international travel by people who have not been vaccinated against the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.

Between Jan. 1 and May 23 of this year, 288 measles cases were reported to the federal health agency, the highest year-to-date total since 1994, officials said.

“This is not the kind of record we want to break, but should be a wake-up call to travelers and parents to make sure vaccinations are up to date,” said Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases.

Home-grown measles in the United States was declared eliminated in 2000, but cases imported from patients traveling abroad continue to infect unvaccinated U.S. residents with the highly contagious respiratory disease, according to the CDC.

A large outbreak in the Philippines was connected to 138 cases this year involving Amish communities in Ohio, health officials said. In all, 18 states have reported measles cases this year.

Measles has caused 43 patients to be hospitalized in 2014 but no deaths, Schuchat said.

Unvaccinated residents in the United States provide a “welcome wagon” for measles imported from abroad, Schuchat said, noting the virus is still common in many parts of the world including Europe, Asia and Africa. The Philippines has reported more than 32,000 measles cases and 41 deaths from January to April 20, she said.

Eighty-five percent of the unvaccinated U.S. residents who contracted measles cited religious, philosophical or personal reasons for not getting immunized, the CDC said.

“It was not because they were too young or had medical reasons like leukemia,” Schuchat said. “These outbreaks illustrate that clusters of people with like-minded beliefs who forgo vaccines can be susceptible to outbreaks when the virus in imported.”

The CDC recommends that, starting at age 12 months, infants receive two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. Infants aged 6 through 11 months old should receive one dose of MMR vaccine before international travel.

The health agency also recommends vaccination for adults who were not immunized as children or are unsure of their immunization history.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Marguerita Choy)

Recent Headlines

in National

WATCH: The history of Memorial Day

Fresh
23-overlay3

This All-American holiday took a long and winding road to become an annual tradition.

in Lifestyle, National

To the beach! Roads expected to be packed for Memorial Day

gas

With lower gas prices and an improved job market, AAA expects more than 37 million Americans to travel this weekend, the most since 2005.

in Local

Northampton Bans Plastic Bags

noho city hall

The city of Northampton now has an ordinance banning the use of single-layer plastic bags

in Local

Northampton Man Tried To Poison Daughter

Photo courtesy of Daily Hampshire Gazette

A Northampton man has been arraigned in district court for allegedly trying to poison his seriously ill daughter

in Local

Noho Budget Would Cut Spending

nark inauguration

Mayor David Narkewicz has submitted his municipal budget and it actually shows a decrease in spending