News from the FDA/CDC

Measles: 26 new cases reported last week


With 26 new cases reported as of Feb. 14, 2019, the number of U.S. measles cases now stands at 127 for the year so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Jan. 31, total measles cases stood at 79, which means that the number of individuals with measles has risen by 61% in just the last 2 weeks. Of the five outbreaks (defined as three or more cases) so far in 2019, three have occurred in New York (57 cases in three counties), one in Texas (8 cases in five counties), and one in Washington (62 cases in two counties), the CDC reported Feb. 18.

The majority of the Washington cases (61 of the 62) have occurred in Clark County, which is located just across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore. Oregon, in turn, has a higher percentage of kindergartners with nonmedical exemptions from vaccination (7.5%) than any other state, the CDC reported in October 2018. Washington’s rate of 3.9% was nearly double the national median of 2.0% for the 2017-2018 school year, while Texas (1.8%) and New York (1.0%) were below it, the CDC said.

In the Pacific Northwest, however, some parents may be changing their minds about vaccinations, according to the New York Times, which reported that “about triple the number of children have been vaccinated this year, compared with the same period in 2018,” in Oregon and southwest Washington.

Individual cases of measles have been reported to the CDC by seven other states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, and Oregon.

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