Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Measles Cases Pass 150 Mark, CDC Says


Health officials urge parents to get their children vaccinated against the disease

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of people infected with measles has increased slightly to 154 patients in 17 states and the District of Columbia, U.S. health officials reported Monday.

Last week, the number of cases was 141, officials said.

The outbreak began at two Disney theme parks in southern California in December, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it's believed that the source of the infection was likely a foreign visitor or a U.S. resident returning from abroad.

Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa, the CDC said.

The majority of people who've gotten measles in the current outbreak were unvaccinated, the agency said.

The CDC said that, as of Feb. 20, the overwhelming majority of cases have been reported in California, with 104 cases. Other states reporting cases include Arizona, 7 cases; Colorado, 1 case; District of Columbia, 2 cases; Delaware, 1 case; Georgia, 1 case; Illinois, 14 cases; Michigan, 1 case; Minnesota, 1 case; Nebraska, 2 cases; New Jersey, 1 case; New York, 2 cases; Nevada, 6 cases; Pennsylvania, 1 case; South Dakota, 2 cases; Texas, 1 case; Utah, 2 cases; and Washington, 5 cases.

Most of the cases -- 118 cases, or 77 percent -- have been linked to the outbreak that started at the Disney parks in California, officials said.

The United States declared measles eliminated in 2000, meaning the virus was no longer native to this country. However, the nation experienced a record number of measles cases in 2014, with 644 cases in 27 states. This was the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in 2000.

Since 2000, annual reported cases of the highly infectious disease have ranged from a low of 37 in 2004 to the high of 644 in 2014, the CDC said.

Public health officials have said the current outbreak has been fueled, in large part, by parents who are reluctant to have their children vaccinated against measles. Parents whose children aren't vaccinated should get them immunized, and adults who aren't sure about their vaccination history should get a booster dose as well, according to the CDC.

source : Measles Cases Pass 150 Mark, CDC Says

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