Health Care

CDC: US Records Greatest Number of Measles Cases Since 1994

CDC: US Records Greatest Number of Measles Cases Since 1994”

"Availability and widespread use of a safe and highly effective measles vaccine, and a strong public health infrastructure to detect and contain measles".

An ongoing outbreak in and around New York City that started last fall is threatening the US's "elimination status" - if it continues for four more months, the country will no longer be able to say it has eliminated measles.

A vial of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at the International Community Health Services clinic in Seattle, Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019.

Measles cases in the United States have surged to a new high, eclipsing the total number of cases from all of 1992, the worst in 27 years, the CDC said Thursday.

Cases have been reported there continuously for seven months.

The disease's resurgence can mostly be traced back to un- or under-vaccinated travelers who brought the infection back with them from overseas - that's what happened previous year when cases were reported throughout the country, originating from the Philippines, Israel and Ukraine.

States are debating whether to make it more hard for students to avoid vaccinations for religious or philosophical reasons amid the worst measles outbreak in decades, but children using such waivers are outnumbered in many states by those who give no excuse for lacking shots.

"Measles is preventable and the way to end this outbreak is to ensure that all children and adults who can get vaccinated, do get vaccinated", said CDC director Robert Redfield.

"Your decision to vaccinate will protect your family's health and your community's well-being", he stressed. "CDC will continue working with public health responders across our nation to bring this outbreak to an end", Redfield continued.

Instead, parents who might have questions about vaccines should ask professionals who know.

"All parents want to make sure their children are healthy and are interested in information to protect them".

In addition, everyone 6 months and older should be protected against measles before traveling internationally, the CDC recommended. Babies 6 to 11 months old need one dose of measles vaccine before traveling.

Global travelers unsure of their vaccination status should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling.

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