Measles cases climb to highest level in 25 years

1010 WINS Newsroom
April 25, 2019 - 6:57 am
Measles vaccine

Markell DeLoatch, Public Opinion

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) --  Measles cases in the U.S. this year have climbed past 680 to their highest level in 25 years, a resurgence largely due to misinformation that is turning parents against vaccines.

According to health officials, on Wednesday, there were 61 new cases reported since late last week in New York City, in what would make this the nation's worst year for measles since 1994, with eight months still to go. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said they are reviewing the latest reports and the official nationwide count will not be released by until Monday. .

More than half of  this year's illnesses in the U.S. have been in New York state, mainly in two ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and suburban Rockland County.

Most of those cases have been found in unvaccinated people.

Due to how highly contagious measles is, the number of cases is likely to go even higher and the CDC recommends the vaccine for everyone over a year old.

Public health experts say some U.S. communities have low vaccination rates because of the spread of bad information, especially the notion that the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine is linked to autism.

"Many parents are afraid. And if you want to believe your kid doesn't need that many shots, there's plenty of places to find people who agree with you,'' said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, former head of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 'It's not so easy to discern what is real and what is not.''

There have been three measles-related deaths reported in the U.S. since 2000, the last one in 2015. The worst year for measles in modern U.S. history was 1958, with more than 763,000 reported cases and 552 deaths.

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