No New Measles Cases Documented Last Week in United States

September 17, 2019
Michaela Fleming

According to the CDC, there were no new cases of measles reported during the week of September 6-12, 2019.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were no new cases of measles reported during the week of September 6-12, 2019.

Thus far in 2019, there have been 1241 individual cases of measles confirmed across 31 states. Data from the CDC appear to show that new cases of measles could be finally slowing down. The highest number of new cases were documented during April when 341 new cases were confirmed. In comparison, only 50 and 24 new cases were documented in July and August, respectively.

Another sign of progress in the battle against measles was the resolution of the largest outbreak in the nation. On September 3, 2019, New York City declared the end of the measles outbreak, which documented 654 cases—more than half of the cases in the United States this year.

Health officials in El Paso, Texas, also declared the end of a measles outbreak on September 12, 2019. Currently, there are only 2 ongoing outbreaks, both of which are in New York. An outbreak in Rockland County has recorded 312 cases as of August 26, 2019, and officials in Wyoming County have documented 5 cases of the disease.

“The United States has seen numerous measles outbreaks since endemic disease was declared eliminated in North America in 2000. Still, this year feels different. More cases have been reported in the country so far this year than in any year since 1992,” Matthew Zahn, MD, medical director for the Epidemiology and Assessment Program for the Orange County Health Care Agency in California, wrote in a Contagion® article in August. "This is partially due to international epidemiology. Measles remains endemic in much of the world, and large international outbreaks, particularly in the Philippines, Israel, and Ukraine, have led to more travel-related disease.”

Four countries in the European Union recently lost their measles elimination status. A statement issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that Albania, Czechia, Greece, and the United Kingdom have lost ground in the fight to eradicate measles.

The decision was made by the European Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination (RVC) upon assessing annual status updates for the 53 member states of the European Union.

As such, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated against the measles before traveling internationally. Infants 6 to 11 months old should receive 1 dose of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine prior to travel and everyone over the age of 12 months should receive 2 doses.

Earlier this year, the CDC warned that if measles cases were not brought under control, the United States may lose its measles elimination status. It is expected that this decision will be made in early October.

For the most recent case counts in the measles outbreaks across the United States, visit the Contagion® Outbreak Monitor.