The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today, that the number of measles cases so far this year jumped to 839 over 23 states nationwide.
So far this year approximately 60 cases have been reported each week, except that this week reports increased to 75 cases.
Back in 2000 measles was declared eliminated and the number of cases has not been this high since 1994.
Hundreds of the cases are happening in New York City and especially in the surrounding suburbs where the area is home to Orthodox Jews who do not believe in vaccinating their children and refuse to do so. However, government authorities have mandated vaccinations for some ZIP codes.
The CDC is linking the outbreaks to people who traveled to places where large outbreaks of the measles are occurring like Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines. Travelers return and then expose the disease to people in the US who are not vaccinated.
The CDC urges vaccination but there are many who protest vaccinations who are referred to as anti-vaxxers.
It is becoming a political battle. One Texas official is against vaccinations and even refers to it as ‘sorcery’ and compares government control of it to communism. While in Washington state, government officials are passing laws doing away with personal or philosophical exemptions used by parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated.
According to the CDC, the symptoms of the disease include fever, sweating, runny nose, cough and a rash that can spread all over the body. There have been a few cases where people have ended up with pneumonia, swelling of the brain or some other serious symptoms. The disease can cause men to become sterile and pregnant women to deliver their babies prematurely.
The following states that have reported measles cases so far this year are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.
The World Health Organization (WHO), reports that in 2017, 110,000 deaths from the measles happened on a global scale mostly among children under the age of five, even though health officials say the measles vaccine is cost effective and safe, it is not being reached to all who need it. Measles is definitely a killer globally. WHO reports an 80% reduction in deaths from measles from 2000 to 2017 worldwide because of the measles vaccination.