The number of measles cases in the United States hit a 20-year high for the first five months of the year with 288 cases, the Centers for Disease Control reported Thursday.
Of the outbreak, 97 percent are associated with international travel by unvaccinated people, and 90 percent of the U.S. residents who became ill were not vaccinated, the CDC said.
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“The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people, primarily U.S. residents, who got measles in other countries, brought the virus back to the United States and spread to others in communities where many people are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, in a release. “Many of the clusters in the U.S. began following travel to the Philippines where a large outbreak has been occurring since October 2013.”
USA Today said the measles cases this year
include 138 cases from an area in Ohio where a large outbreak is ongoing. In actuality, there have been 166 cases in Ohio as of Thursday, USA Today quoted from the state’s health department.
The Ohio cases were in Amish communities, and state officials told USA Today that Amish missionaries who traveled to the Philippines brought the virus home with them. Vaccination rates in the communities were low, the state said, but many of Ohio’s Amish people are getting vaccinated now.
A state official told USA Today that they expect the outbreak to continue into the summer.
California has reported 60 cases and New York 26, The Washington Post said.
The CDC said that any patients with a fever and rash along with a cough, runny nose, or pink eye should be checked for measles.
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