Sunday, May 18, 2014

Measles cases hit 18-year high in U.S. 

It is not official yet, but the number of measles cases in the United States in 2014 has hit an 18 year high. With over half a year remaining, the most recent count from official and media sources, completed May 16, shows that there have been 224 measles cases this year. That surpasses the previous high of 220 cases for all of 2011.

The last time that the number of measles cases was this high was 1996. There were 508 cases that year. The following year the number fell to 138 and continued to fall. In 2008 it popped up to 140 measles cases before falling again.

From 2011 to date, measles has become a problem for public health officials in the U.S. There were 220 cases in 2011, just 55 in 2012 and 186 in 2013. The illnesses have appeared in clusters for the most part, although single cases have also appeared in many states.

In 2014, there have been three large measles outbreaks. Southern California saw an outbreak from Jan. through May that ended at 59 measles cases. New York City had an outbreak that stopped at 26 cases. Ohio is in the midst of a continuing measles outbreak that has, through May 16, infected 83 people.

In 2013, three outbreaks accounted for most of the measles cases. There was a cluster of measles cases in Texas that was tied to the Kenneth Copeland televangelism ministry and his mega-church. A cluster of illnesses occurred in North Carolina linked to a Hindu religious community and shrine. New York City experienced the year's largest outbreak in the Hasidic Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.

The latest national measles data from the Centers for Disease Control is for Jan. 1 through May 9 and was released May 12. They have received reports of 187 measles cases this year from 17 states. Since that date, Ohio has reported an additional 23 cases, and there are new cases being reported in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other states.

The measles cases in both Ohio and California in 2014 are linked to the ongoing epidemic of measles in the Philippines. Both outbreaks are a result of travelers returning from the islands who had not received the measles vaccine and who carried the illness back with them. At least six cases in Washington were in patients without immunizations with ties to a Dutch Reformed church in British Columbia that became the center of a 400 case outbreak of measles. The church opposed the use of all vaccines including the measles vaccine.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog