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US measles cases surpass 1,000 this year

The number of cases of measles in the United States this year has surpassed 1,000, the US Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday. The agency...

Posted: Jun 6, 2019 3:40 AM

The number of cases of measles in the United States this year has surpassed 1,000, the US Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday. The agency said there have been 1,001 cases so far this year.

That's 20 more cases than the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention reported on Monday in its weekly national update. This year, which is barely half over, has the greatest number of cases in a single year in nearly three decades.

"The Department of Health and Human Services has been deeply engaged in promoting the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, amid concerning signs that there are pockets of undervaccination around the country," said US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

"The 1,000th case of a preventable disease like measles is a troubling reminder of how important that work is to the public health of the nation," Azar continued.

The number of cases this year is the highest since 1992 when there were 2,237 cases of the highly contagious illness reported in the United States. It's the highest number of cases in a single year since it was eliminated nationwide in 2000, meaning it was no longer continuously transmitted in the country.

Cases have been reported in more than half of US states. New York has been the largest contributor to this year's unfortunate milestone with nearly 700 cases of measles reported this year in the state.

Most of those cases have been in Orthodox Jewish communities In Brooklyn and Queens with low vaccination rates. The New York City Health Department reported that as of June 3 there had been 566 confirmed cases in those areas since September.

Clark County in Washington state had the second-largest outbreak in the US this year with more than 70 cases reported.

Highly contagious

Measles is one of the most highly contagious diseases in existence, spreading through coughing and sneezing, and can linger in the air for up to two hours. If someone who is not immune to the virus breathes the air or touches an infected surface, they can become infected, according to the CDC.

Once a person has measles, about 90% of close contacts who are susceptible to it will develop the disease. Early on, measles can be confused for other viral illnesses such as the flu. But the red blotchy rash that comes with it may help set it apart.

The virus often manifests as a combination of high fever -- as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit -- along with cough, runny nose and pink eye, according to Dr. Julia S. Sammons, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and medical director of the Department of Infection Prevention and Control at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

To protect yourself, doctors recommend immediate vaccination. Other steps: wash hands often or using sanitizer, avoid touching your eyes and mouth, disinfect surfaces and toys with standard household products, and refrain from coming into close contact or sharing silverware with anyone who's sick.

And if you have to cough or sneeze, use your sleeve or a tissue -- but not your hands, the CDC says.

Summer surge?

The cases in the Unites States have been imported from international travel. Local outbreaks begin when the highly contagious illness spreads to those who are not immune to the virus due to a lack of vaccination. With the busy summer travel season just about to get underway there's concern about continued importation of measles among vacationers.

In his statement, Azar noted that the CDC has implemented an internal management structure to respond to the outbreaks, created toolkits to address vaccine hesitancy, and reached out to rabbinical and other associations with credible vaccine information.

"We cannot say this enough: Vaccines are a safe and highly effective public health tool that can prevent this disease and end the current outbreak," Azar said. "The measles vaccine is among the most-studied medical products we have and is given safely to millions of children and adults each year. I encourage all Americans to talk to your doctor about what vaccines are recommended to protect you, your family, and your community from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 570892

Reported Deaths: 5936
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah94163940
Washington68918461
Marion55435570
Clackamas49836458
Lane44086397
Deschutes37530225
Jackson34484417
Linn20528221
Umatilla19500190
Douglas16386323
Yamhill13914168
Josephine13233291
Polk11966115
Benton1128646
Klamath11286179
Coos8563128
Malheur697096
Columbia599667
Jefferson587971
Lincoln530462
Crook467262
Union415665
Wasco392050
Clatsop369737
Tillamook293554
Hood River286638
Baker274440
Curry260141
Morrow256926
Grant137418
Harney130535
Lake116823
Wallowa99213
Sherman2333
Gilliam2254
Wheeler1722
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 7691930

Reported Deaths: 78616
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles249409728480
San Diego6675684559
Riverside5351265623
San Bernardino5138486267
Orange5098915953
Santa Clara2579941993
Sacramento2477782623
Alameda2149391575
Fresno2010802429
Kern1961251974
Contra Costa1628091091
Ventura1556551256
San Joaquin1467261960
Stanislaus1156521517
San Francisco109859702
Tulare1071131211
San Mateo101729647
Santa Barbara72722589
Monterey70370651
Sonoma70038432
Solano67327391
Placer58374513
Merced57147727
Imperial52057820
San Luis Obispo45057385
Kings43195396
Santa Cruz35593237
Madera33030336
Butte32484350
Yolo32382273
Shasta30590512
Marin30486253
El Dorado24845179
Napa20803111
Sutter18472199
Humboldt15471129
Yuba14050103
Nevada13685112
Tehama12228142
Mendocino11943111
San Benito1115391
Tuolumne997991
Lassen899459
Lake8639118
Amador706473
Unassigned63543
Calaveras600695
Siskiyou580162
Glenn547039
Del Norte436843
Inyo388050
Colusa384021
Mono28264
Plumas244912
Mariposa234519
Trinity116719
Modoc8626
Sierra2760
Alpine1190
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