USA measles cases top 700; states grapple with 9 outbreaks

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An outbreak of measles is surging across the United States - with 704 cases this year and counting. Sixty-six people have been hospitalized, including 24 individuals who had pneumonia. That includes the largest outbreaks, in Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City.

Measles was eliminated in the USA in 2000, but "the longer these outbreaks continue, the greater the chance measles will again get a sustained foothold in the United States", the CDC warns.

Up to 10 per cent of patients in the current outbreak are adults who had received one or two doses of the vaccine, the CDC said.

Austin medical providers encourage parents to vaccinate children against the measles as outbreaks continue around the country.

The national outbreak has escalated since 82 people in 2018 and more than 40 people in 2019 brought measles to the United States from other countries, most frequently Ukraine, Israel and the Philippines.

Measles, once thought eradicated, has infected more than 700 people in 22 states over the past few months.

As the measles outbreak continues to surge in the United States and NY, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging young children and adults to make sure they are vaccinated.

The study, published last month in the medical journal JAMA, said that "responding to a single case of measles can be as high as $142,000".

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Measles can live for up to two hours in the airspace where an infected person breathed, coughed or sneezed. The last similar instance occurred during a bad outbreak in Philadelphia in the early 1990s, when the city recorded more than 900 cases, a lot of them members of two fundamentalist church groups that did not accept vaccination or other kinds of modern medical care.

Before the 1960s, "measles was basically a universal experience of childhood", says James Colgrove, a public health historian at Columbia University. In 1971, the measles vaccine was combined with the mumps and rubella vaccines to form the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

In Dudley, it was 1,127 children who had not received their first MMR vaccination by the age of five, and a further 1,613 failed to have the second injection. Certainly, we want to convince people to get their children vaccinated, but if they don't, we may need to do things that are a little bit more stringent.

Three-quarters of those who caught the extremely contagious disease are children or teenagers. After one dose, you are 93 percent protected. "There's no evidence that measles immunity wanes".

Additionally, officials confirmed that measles in Florida is rare - due to generally high vaccination rates - and that both confirmed cases had recently traveled internationally to Southeast Asia. The recommended two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is 97 percent effective in a given person in preventing measles. And public health officials say it's a reminder of the importance of vaccinations. The option is ideal for anyone who's lost their vaccination records, or people born between 1957 and 1971.

When was the measles vaccine invented?

Children born after 1989 likely received two doses of the vaccine, as recommended by the CDC.

Officials urge adults to confirm their vaccination status by consulting with their doctor. UNICEF research released last week shows that 2,5 million children in the USA did not receive MMR vaccine between 2010 and 2017, followed by France and the United Kingdom, with over 600,000 and 500,000 unvaccinated infants, respectively, during the same period.

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