Measles cases increase to 839 in US

839 cases of measles reported in 23 states; no confirmed cases in Alabama

839 cases of measles reported in 23 states; no confirmed cases in Alabama

Now, the current measles outbreak is much smaller than the one 30 years ago, and the reasons behind it are very different.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 9.8% increase in measles cases across 23 states since May 10, a resurgence that public health officials have attributed to the spread of misinformation about the measles vaccine.

The steep uptick in cases this year has been driven primarily by large outbreaks in NY and Washington state, and represents the country's highest annual measles case count since there were 963 cases in 1994. That pattern continued last week, with most of the 75 new cases coming from NY.

This comes as New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene declared a state of emergency, warning Brooklyn's residents of fines to the tune of Dollars 1,000 if they refuse to get vaccinated. According to health officials, most of the new cases were reported in New York City and its suburbs, where hundreds of cases have been reported this year. Harris, which includes Houston, has had four cases of measles so far this year, the most in Texas. Cases in those states occurred primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities. The county health services division director said vaccination is the best way to prevent measles. A few years earlier, he'd founded the Children's Health Fund to bring health care to New York City's poorest areas.

In response to the outbreak, New York City imposed a mandatory vaccination order for residents. "The vaccine avoidance problem is not limited to measles".

Babies who are traveling to or living in an area with an ongoing outbreak who have had a first dose at 12 months to 15 months do not need to wait until age 4 for that second dose; rather, they can and should get it anytime after 28 days from the first vaccination. If they do not have evidence of receiving a measles vaccine, they should receive another dose.

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