News from the FDA/CDC

Measles cases now at highest level since 1992


With 971 cases of measles reported after just 5 months of 2019, the United States has hit another dubious milestone by surpassing the 963 cases reported in the preelimination year of 1994, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC/ Cynthia S. Goldsmith; William Bellini, Ph.D.

Measles viron

That leaves 1992, when there were 2,237 cases reported, as the next big obstacle on measles’ current path of distinction, the CDC data show. Only 312 cases were reported in 1993.

“Outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, New York have continued for nearly 8 months. If these outbreaks continue through summer and fall, the United States may lose its measles elimination status. That loss would be a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health,” the CDC said May 30.

The CDC defines measles elimination as “the absence of continuous disease transmission for 12 months or more in a specific geographic area” and notes that “measles is no longer endemic [constantly present] in the United States.”

“Measles is preventable and the way to end this outbreak is to ensure that all children and adults who can get vaccinated, do get vaccinated. Again, I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism. The greater danger is the disease that vaccination prevents,” CDC director Robert Redfield, MD, said in a statement.

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