USA measles outbreak hits 'completely avoidable' 25-year-high, officials say


The disease was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000, which meant it was no longer continually present year round, but health officials say that sporadic outbreaks do still occur from travellers coming from countries where measles are more common. Most of the recently recorded cases have been in NY and Los Angeles, officials said on Monday.

Five Brooklyn measles cases - including the original infection discovered in October - were traced back to trips from Israel, where another measles outbreak infected more than 1,000 people previous year.

It means that the overall vaccination rate over the period was 83.8 per cent, significantly below the 95 per cent the World Health Organisation says is needed to prevent the disease spreading in the community, and leaving a total of 4,928 children without full protection against measles. This second dose, Piltch-Loeb notes, would be a "booster" to the first dose to increase a person's own immune response to measles.

Until now, the highest number of annual cases after the 2000 eradication milestone happened in 2014 with 667 confirmed cases.

Measles is extremely contagious and can be serious for all age groups, but it is most risky for children under 5 and adults over 70. The measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, and some early versions of the vaccine were not as effective as those offered today, the CDC says. "He is only 5 months old and didn't even have a chance to get vaccinated".

People born before 1957 don't need to worry about getting the MMR vaccine because they've likely already been infected by measles. In that year, 220 cases of measles were reported, according to the CDC.

If you have had a serious allergic reaction to a prior dose of the vaccine, it would be safe to say you shouldn't receive another dose. Those who attempt to tie the rise to Southern-border-crossing immigrants do so by ignoring the epidemiological realities of a world that sees one billion people cross global borders every year, sometimes into and out of countries with low vaccination rates or ongoing outbreaks.

But until 1989, the CDC only recommended that children get one dose of the vaccine.

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However, it isn't necessarily rich people who are being diagnosed with measles.

The United States tops the list of high-income countries with the most children not receiving the first dose of the vaccine between 2010 and 2017, at more than 2.5 million. Two doses are 97% effective.

People who are unsure when, or if, they were vaccinated can safely opt for a shot, according to William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University and an infectious disease and vaccine expert.

None of this is particularly surprising if you've been following the festering growth of the anti-vaccination movement across the country. Even under-protected people who do not live near ongoing outbreaks and are not planning to travel internationally don't have a pressing need, Schaffner says - but those people can get re-vaccinated if they so choose.

As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.

There is a blood test doctors can use to check immunity as well, but it may take some time to get results back, he added.

When was the measles vaccine invented?