The number of measles cases reported in the U.S. so far this year is
the highest since 1994, according to an MMWR article. The disease was
declared eliminated in 2000.
As of May 23, some 288 confirmed cases were reported to the CDC from
18 states and New York City. Nearly all cases (97%) were associated
with importations, and most were in people who were not vaccinated
(69%) or who had unknown vaccination status (20%). Among imported
cases, the disease was acquired during travel to 18 countries, with
most cases acquired in the Philippines and India. An ongoing outbreak
among unvaccinated Amish people in Ohio accounted for nearly half of
the cases. Patients cited religious beliefs and philosophical
objections as the primary reasons for not being vaccinated.
The authors conclude: “Maintenance of high vaccination coverage,
ensuring timely vaccination before travel, and early detection and
isolation of cases are key factors to limit importations and the
spread of disease.”