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The number of measles cases in the US will increase in 2024. What is the cause of this increase? – JS



The number of measles cases in the US will increase in 2024.  What is the cause of this increase?  – The Denver Post

By DEVI SHASTRI and MIKE STOBBE (Associated Press)

Measles outbreaks in the U.S And abroad have health experts concerned about the preventable, once-common virus in children.

Measles, one of the most contagious diseases in the world, can lead to potentially serious complications. The best defense according to experts? Get vaccinated.

Here’s what you need to know about the year – so far – in measles.

How many cases of measles has the US seen this year?

Nationally, measles cases are already almost double last year’s total.

The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention documented 113 cases as of April 5. There have been seven outbreaks, and most U.S. cases — 73% — are linked to these flare-ups.

Yet the number is lower than in recent years: in 2014 there were 667 cases and in 2019 1,274.

Why is this a big problem?

The 2019 measles epidemic was the worst in nearly three decades and threatened the status of the United States a country that has eradicated measles by stopping the continued spread of the measles virus.

The CDC released a report Thursday on recent trends in measles cases, noting that cases in the first three months of this year were 17 times higher than the average number in the first three months of the previous three years.

Although health officials appear to be doing a good job of detecting and responding to outbreaks, “the rapid increase in reported measles cases in the first quarter of 2024 poses a renewed threat to elimination,” the report’s authors said.

Where does measles come from?

The disease is still common in many parts of the world, and measles reaches the US through unvaccinated travelers.

According to Thursday’s report, most of the recent imports involved unvaccinated Americans who became infected in the Middle East and Africa and brought measles to the US.

Where were the measles outbreaks in the US this year?

Health officials have confirmed cases of measles in 17 states so far this year, including cases in New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago.

More than half of this year’s cases come from the outbreak in Chicago, where 61 people contracted the virus on Thursday, largely among people living in a migrant shelter.

The city health department said Thursday that cases are declining after health officials administered 14,000 vaccines in just over a month.

How does measles spread?

Measles is highly contagious. It spreads when people who have it breathe, cough or sneeze and through contaminated surfaces. It can also remain in the air for two hours.

Up to 9 in 10 people who are susceptible will get the virus if exposed. According to the CDC.

Measles used to be common among children. How bad was it?

Before a vaccine became available in 1963, there were about 3 million to 4 million cases per year, which, according to the CDC, meant that almost all American children had it at some point in childhood. Most recovered.

But measles can be much more than an uncomfortable rash, says Susan Hassig, an infectious disease researcher at Tulane University.

“I think people need to remember that this is a preventable disease,” Hassig said. “It is a potentially dangerous disease for their children.”

In the decade before the vaccine was available, 48,000 people were hospitalized each year. According to the CDC, about 1,000 people each year developed a dangerous brain infection from measles, and 400 to 500 died.

Is the measles vaccine safe? Where are the vaccination numbers?

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. is safe and effective. It is a routine and recommended childhood vaccine split into two doses.

Research shows that a very high vaccination rate is needed to prevent the spread of measles: 95% of the population should have immunity against the virus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the national vaccination rate for preschoolers fell to 93% and remains there. Many parts of the country have that much lower rates than that. The decline is partly caused by record number of children receiving an exemption.


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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