Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday that 1,000 cases of measles have been reported in the United States by 2019.
That number is sure to continue climbing in the second half of the year. Last week, the CDC warned that measles cases in the United States had reached a 25-year high – with more reported measles infections than any year since 1994, when 958 cases occurred. The CDC at that time said that if the outbreak continues to spread, the United States risks losing the status of elimination since 2000, when the agency announced that measles have been effectively eradicated in the country due to "the absence of a continuous transmission of the disease for more than 12 months."
According to CNN, more than half of the countries have reported cases in 2019. But most of them were in the state of New York, with large epidemics centered around Orthodox Jewish settlements in New York's Brooklyn and Queens neighborhood (566 of September 2018, according to the health department in New York), as well as in Rockland County. Almost 700 of the cases reported this year are in New York. Clark County State in Washington State was the second largest in more than 70 cases, CNN added, while another outbreak of 44 cases in Michigan (all except the Auckland County) was recently released by health authorities.
The email was once a terror, with the CDC estimated that three to four million people in the United States came down with the virus annually before a vaccine was released in 1963, which resulted in 48,000 hospitalizations and 400-500 deaths a year. Nearly all children had measles infection at the age of 15 years.
In 2014, the CDC estimated that vaccinations given to children born during the 20-year-old age since the start of the vaccine program for children in 1994 ended with 21 million hospitalizations and 732 000 deaths in their lives. That program was partly launched in response to hundreds of deaths from measles virus during the years 1989-1991.
The established opinion of the medical and scientific community, repeated in countless studies, is that vaccines are safe and effective. One of the main factors in the reorganization of measles is the reduction in vaccination rates, with factors, including families who lack visits to a doctor (for some reasons, perhaps because of lack of access) and disturbing growth in those seeking non-medical exemptions.
The appearance of non-medical exemptions appears to be associated with anti-vaxxers, the movement of conspiracy theorists with an anti-government nuance that paraphrases any number of false claims about vaccines, especially causing many of the diseases from autism to non-existent states such as "vaccine overload". Reports show that anti-vaxxers have become alarmingly organized in recent years, driven partly by the ease of spreading misinformation on social media sites.
Movement members held a rally in the state of Washington to oppose legislation limiting non-medical vaccine exemptions earlier this year. (They were mainly unsuccessful in stopping their passage, with lawmakers who decided to just remove exemptions for the vaccine against mumps, measles and rubella.) Other reports indicated that a small but dedicated anti-vax group with links to national anti-vax organizations encompassed some of the affected neighborhoods in New York with propaganda leaflets.
In a news on CDC, Health and Social Services Secretary Alex Azar said the US health authorities have "the ultimate goal of stopping the emergence and spread of misinformation about vaccines."
"We can not say enough: Vaccines are a safe and highly effective public health facility that can prevent this disease and end the current phenomenon," Azar said. "The measles vaccine is one of the most studied medical products we have and is safe for millions of children and adults every year." "Smallpox is an incredibly infectious and dangerous disease." I encourage all Americans to talk to your doctor about which vaccines are are recommended to protect you, your family and your community from measles and other diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. "