On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that measles continues to pose a great threat to public health in the United States after it recommended 60 new cases last week.
The agency said the new figures bring the total number of measles cases to 940 so far, making it the worst measles outbreak since 1994. The 2019 figures are inching closer to surpassing the 1994 figures that were 958, which were still lower than 1992 measles outbreak that reported more than 2,000 cases.
The CDC reports new data every Monday and the latest of which covers a one-week period ending May 24.
The agency has elaborated how measles outbreaks occur in communities associated with a high number of unvaccinated people. For example, New York City’s Orthodox Jewish communities represent a large portion of the reported cases in the state as anti-vaxxers spread misinformation.
Public health officials declared emergency in both New York City and Rockland County. In March, Rockland officials barred unvaccinated children from visiting public places for 30 days; however, a judge later blocked the order.
In California, there is been an uptick in measles cases because a growing number of parents believe that vaccines may cause autism, a stance that is not backed by scientific research.
So far, 26 states have reported measles cases. In 2000, public health officials announced that measles had been eradicated, which means that it was no longer present in the United States. However, frequent travelers returning to the country from other countries where measles is common are at risk of prompting outbreaks, according to the CDC.