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Recent increase in measles cases threatens eradication status in the United States, CDC says

Recent increase in measles cases threatens eradication status in the United States, CDC says



over 100 Measles cases Infectious diseases have been reported in the United States since the beginning of the year, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that the surge in infections, which is far greater than in recent years, poses a new threat to the country's progress in eradicating the disease.

“The risk of measles spread remains low in the United States due to high herd immunity,” the CDC said. report Published on Thursday. “However, as case numbers continue to rise in the first quarter of 2024, increasing routine measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination coverage in the United States, especially in close-knit and under-vaccinated communities, is expected to increase.” Additional actions are needed. These include encouraging vaccination before traveling abroad and prompt investigation of suspected measles cases.”

Measles was eliminated in the United States in 2000. This means the outbreak has not been ongoing for more than a year. According to the CDC report, measles elimination “will reduce the number of cases, deaths, and costs that would occur if endemic measles transmission were re-established.”

In 2019, Prolonged outbreaks in undervaccinated communities In New York, that position was threatened. A new CDC report assesses the performance of the U.S. measles surveillance system and the epidemiological trends that data has shown since then.

From January 2020 to March 2024, 338 measles cases were reported in the United States. The U.S. surveillance system is well-performing, with complete information on key indicators such as age, date of rash onset, vaccination status, and travel history, and is “effective at detecting isolated cases and outbreaks.” It is widely considered to have sufficient sensitivity.

The majority of cases (96%) are associated with importation from international travel, and most of those cases (61%) are people who are eligible but have not been vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown. Occurred among US residents.

“The U.S. measles elimination status will continue to be threatened by increasing global measles incidence and decreasing global, national, and local measles vaccination coverage,” the CDC said in its latest report.

Although imported cases are expected, vaccination rates will be key to ensuring that the outbreak does not persist in the United States.

“Maintaining measles elimination status is an important public health benchmark. Public health jurisdictions are reaching communities and populations with low vaccination rates and believe this approach is effective. “However, increasing misinformation about measles vaccination could undermine these efforts and ultimately jeopardize measles elimination status,” said the Chief Medical Officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Director Dr. Marcus Plescia said in an emailed statement.

Last month, the CDC issued the following statement: Health alert for doctors They urged families to vaccinate their infants several months earlier than the usual schedule to raise awareness of the international spread of measles and if families are planning to travel abroad.

Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, president of the American Medical Association, said in an emailed statement last month that “overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vaccines remain the most effective and effective methods for both preventing disease in individuals and protecting the health of the population.” “This shows that it is a safe intervention.” .

Measles is highly contagious an airborne disease. It can cause serious health problems and death, especially for young children and unvaccinated children.

Common symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a rash with red spots. According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 unvaccinated people in the United States who contract measles will be hospitalized. About one in every 20 children who get measles develops pneumonia, and some develop a dangerous swelling of the brain called encephalitis. Up to 3 in 1,000 children infected with measles can die from respiratory and neurological complications.

Measles is highly contagious, so high levels of vaccination coverage are key to minimizing the spread. The United States has set a vaccination rate of 95%, but vaccination rates among kindergarteners have fallen below that target in recent years. In the 2022-23 academic year, 93.1% of kindergarten children The MMR vaccine series has been completed in the United States, leaving approximately 250,000 people at risk. Coverage varies widely by state and community.

As of April 4th, CDC data 83% of cases reported this year are in unvaccinated people, with the remaining 12% indicating they have only received one dose of the two-dose vaccine. Half of those infected are children under the age of five, and nearly 60 percent, including two-thirds of children under the age of five, have been hospitalized.

CNN's Brenda Goodman contributed to this report.




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