CDC Releases New Measles Stats, and They're Not Good

US cases hit 25-year high
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2019 12:26 PM CDT
Measles Cases at 25-Year High
A poster released by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is seen as experts answer questions regarding the measles response and the quarantine orders in Los Angeles Friday, April 26, 2019.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

It's official: Measles cases are at a 25-year high in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest numbers Monday, and those numbers reveal that so far this year at least 704 people have come down with the viral infection, the Washington Post reports. That's the highest single-year tally since 1994, which saw 963 cases, per the AP. Measles was declared eliminated in the US in 2000. More than 500 of the people infected this year were not vaccinated, and about 75% of the cases are in children or teenagers. No deaths have been reported, but 66 people have been hospitalized.

"Vaccine-preventable diseases belong in the history books, not in our emergency rooms," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. "The suffering we are seeing today is completely avoidable." Gizmodo notes that people born before 1989—when people got one dose of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, as opposed to the more modern two doses—might consider getting another shot. However, the story notes that the CDC recommendation for an additional shot applies only to people who were vaccinated between 1963 and 1967. (Read how the Brady Bunch is playing a small role in the anti-vaxxer movement.)

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