Sunday, April 21, 2024

At least 60 Cases of Measles Confirmed So Far In the U.S.

At least 60 cases of measles have been investigated so far this year. This is a significant increase as there were only 58 reported cases in all of 2023.

With spring break approaching, health officials are advising individuals to double-check whether or not they’re up to date on their measles vaccinations.

According to the CDC, 15 additional cases were identified on Friday. Infections were also confirmed in Ohio, California, Arizona, and Illinois.

measles

While the numbers have gone up, the total count is still low, making it difficult for officials to obtain and release additional demographic trends.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the director of Immunization and Respiratory Diseases for the CDC, said that most of the cases so far are associated with unvaccinated individuals returning to the United States with the measles virus.

On Wednesday, the CDC updated its guidelines with recommendations on what to do if someone is not sure whether or not they’re up to date with their vaccinations.

The Measles Outbreak So Far

As of March 2024, 17 states have reported at least one measles case, including California, Arizona, Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Louisiana, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Washington, and Virginia.

In recent weeks, Illinois has seen the most cases, with 12 total infections, all of which took place in Chicago. Out of the 12 patients, 10 were migrant shelter residents.

migrant shelter residents

On March 12, the CDC deployed a team to investigate and prevent the spread of the virus, after being invited to do so by the city.

Florida has seen the second-most cases, with 10 confirmed infections.

Why Are Measles Cases Going Up?

Most of the outbreaks are associated with unvaccinated individuals who have traveled overseas and have brought the virus back with them, exposing it to others who have not yet received their shots.

Measles is a highly contagious airborne disease and individuals with the virus can spread it for up to four days while being asymptomatic. They typically won’t develop symptoms until 10 or 11 days after being exposed.

According to CDC data, at least half a dozen cases were seen in those who were exposed to the virus while traveling abroad.

Officials also reminded parents that babies, as young as six months old, can get their measles vaccine before international travel.

The Most Recent Surge of Measles Cases

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the most measles cases seen in the United States were in 2022, with over 120 cases confirmed in six states.

Back then, the majority of infections were due to low immunity among evacuees who arrived from Afghanistan. The surge prompted the government to launch a mass vaccination campaign to prevent further spread.

Before the pandemic, the last peak happened in 2019, when the U.S. saw over 1,700 cases, the majority of which happened in New York’s close-knit Jewish communities.

Symptoms of Measles

Most people infected will develop a high fever approximately 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Many will also develop a cough, runny nose, or pink eye.

measles rash

Several days after the initial symptoms appear, a distinctive rash will also appear on the skin – usually around the face before spreading to the body. Complications include diarrhea and ear infections.

Brooke Carter
Brooke Carter
Freelance writer who loves dogs and anything related to Japanese culture.
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