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Importations of Measles Virus in the US

J Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Dec 9; Lee, et al

Imported measles virus cases continue to occur is the US each year, emphasizing the importance of measles vaccination of US residents aged ≥6 months before international travel, according the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations. This according to a recent study that describes the epidemiology of international importations of measles virus into the US during the post-elimination era. Among the findings:

  • From 2001‒2016, 553 imported measles cases were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • A median of 28 importations occurred each year.
  • The median age of imported case-patients was 18 years; 87% were unvaccinated or had an unknown vaccination status.
  • US residents accounted for 62% of imported measles cases.
  • Overall, 62% of all imported case-patients reported travel to countries in the Western Pacific and European Regions of the World Health Organization during their exposure periods.


Lee AD, Clemmons NS, Patel M, Gastañaduy PA. International importations of measles virus into the United States during the post-elimination era, 2001‒2016. [Published online ahead of print December 9, 2018]. J Infect Dis. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiy701.