The number of measles cases have surged again. They are on pace to set a record for most illnesses in 25 years.
On Monday, health officials said that 555 measles cases have been confirmed so far this year, up from the 465 as of a week ago.
Twenty states have reported cases but New York has been the epicenter. Almost two-thirds of all cases have been in New York with 85 percent of last week’s cases coming from this state itself.
Most of the New York cases have been people who did not get vaccinated in Orthodox Jewish communities.
The 2019 tally is the highest currently since the 2014 outbreak that saw 667 cases. Many of the cases in 2014 were associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, which had also experienced a large measles outbreak. The most before 2014 was the 1994 outbreak with 963 cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, last year there were 35 fatalities reported in European Union countries. There haven’t been any reports of deaths from the disease in the United States this year or last.
It should be noted that since in the year 2000, measles was largely eradicated, having not been continually transmitted for a period of more than 12 months. Thanks to a highly effective vaccination program.
The CDC recommends all children should get two doses of measles vaccine.