Number of measles cases rocket amid warnings of poor vaccination rates

Number of measles cases rocket amid warnings of poor vaccination rates

Measles first became a notable disease in the United States in 1921, requiring USA health care providers and laboratories to report all diagnosed cases. Scientists are concerned measles could return even though it was "eliminated" in the USA 20 years ago.

In 2014, the United States reported a record 667 cases, including one large outbreak primarily among unvaccinated Amish communities in OH that accounted for more than half of the cases.

New York's mayor declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn last week, after a measles outbreak emerged in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where some had resisted vaccination on religious grounds.

So far this year, 170 countries have reported 112,163 measles cases to the WHO.

The six current outbreaks, in California, New Jersey, New York and Washington states, are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines, where large measles outbreaks are occurring, the CDC said. The cases were found in 20 states spanning the country.

Global measles cases are rising for the third year in a row, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, reporting that recorded cases between January and March were 300 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

"The disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people", it added.

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While easily preventable with a vaccine, measles is highly contagious and can be risky, especially for small children.

Increasing vaccination coverage maximises a population's protection, the World Health Organization said.

NY health officials said they were working with orthodox Jewish leaders to combat anti-vaccination campaigns. His research was found to be based on fraudulent data, the study was retracted, and the doctor lost his medical license.

Video: Despite the massive evidence, the anti-vaccination movement is gaining strength.

Measles can be serious for all age groups, but it is most unsafe for children under 5 and adults over 70.

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

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious health complications, including infections of the lungs and brain.

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