CDC: Measles Cases Surpass Those Reported in 1992
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that 971 cases of measles have been confirmed so far in 2019—officially outpacing the number of cases reported during the last record-breaking outbreak in 1992, when 963 cases were reported.1
Furthermore, the CDC reports that the United States is now on track to lose its measles elimination status. Measles was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000, but ongoing outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, New York, threaten to void this status if they continue through the summer and autumn months.
“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,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, in a press release. “Again, I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism. The greater danger is the disease the vaccination prevents,” he added.1
The CDC has repeatedly emphasized that vaccination, especially among international travelers, is key in containing the current US outbreak and preventing further cases. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended for:2
- Children aged 12 to 15 months (dose 1).
- Children aged 4 to 6 years (dose 2).
Providers should ensure that adolescents and adults are up-to-date on vaccination, and those without evidence of immunity should receive at least 1 dose of the vaccine, the CDC notes. Additionally, for international travelers specifically, the CDC recommends:2
- Infants aged 6 to 11 months should receive 1 dose of the MMR vaccine prior to international travel. Those who receive 1 dose before their first birthday should receive 2 more doses—one at 12 to 15 months, and the second at least 28 days after the first dose is administered.
- Toddlers aged 12 months and older need 2 doses, separated by at least 28 days, prior to international travel.
- Adolescents and adults without evidence of immunity against measles should receive 2 doses of the vaccine, with both doses separated by at least 28 days.
- Providers should discuss vaccination with any patients who are traveling internationally and are unsure of their vaccination status.
Additional vaccination options, recommendations, and contraindications from the CDC can be found here.
- U.S. measles cases in first five months of 2019 surpass total cases for any year since 1992 [press release]. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/p0530-us-measles-2019.html. May 30, 2019. Accessed May 31, 2019.
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination: what everyone should know. Vaccines and preventable diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mmr/public/index.html. Page last reviewed March 28, 2019. Accessed May 31, 2019.