2019 Measles Outbreak
As of June 6, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there have been 1,022 cases of measles in 28 states in 2019. This is an increase of 41 cases from the previous week. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.
However, while the recent measles cases have garnered a lot of media attention, it is important to note that “the incidence of measles still remains relatively very low and the absolute risk to all is very, very small. The more persons that are infected, the harder it is to contain,” says Michael Deichen, MD, MPH, chair of ACHA’s Emerging Public Health Threats and Emergency Response Coalition, and associate vice president of Student Health Services at the University of Central Florida (UCF).
In fact, measles is so highly contagious the CDC states that “if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.” Combined with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) analysis which found that measles cases have quadrupled globally in just the first three months of 2019, it is clear that measles will continue to be a threat so long as there is international travel and a reluctance by some people to get vaccinated.