Tracing measles outbreaks in the United States - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Tracing measles outbreaks in the United States

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, and this year's outbreak is already setting the tone for 2015.

In 2014, 644 cases of measles from 27 states reported to CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)--- this is the highest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. In 2000. The CDC also reports, the majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.

The virus is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S. and it can then spread when it reaches a group of people who are not vaccinated.

Here is a breakdown of some of the most recent outbreaks listed on the CDC's Web site:

2015: The United States is currently experiencing a large, multi-state measles outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

2014: The U.S. experienced 23 measles outbreaks in 2014, including one large outbreak of 383 cases, occurring primarily among unvaccinated Amish communities in Ohio. Many of the cases in the U.S. in 2014 were associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, which experienced a large measles outbreak. For more information see the Measles in the Philippines Travelers' Health Notice.

2013: The U.S. experienced 11 outbreaks in 2013, three of which had more than 20 cases, including an outbreak with 58 cases. For more information see Measles - United States, January 1-August 24, 2013.

2011: In 2011, more than 30 countries in the WHO European Region reported an increase in measles, and France was experiencing a large outbreak. Most of the cases that were brought to the U.S. in 2011 came from France. For more information see Measles - United States, January-May 20, 2011.

2008: The increase in cases in 2008 was the result of spread in communities with groups of unvaccinated people. The U.S. experienced several outbreaks in 2008 including three large outbreaks.

In the United States, measles caused 450 reported deaths and 4,000 cases of encephalitis annually before the measles vaccine became available in the mid-1960s. From January 1 to February 6 of 2015, there have been a reported 121 cases of measles linked to the outbreak at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. This represents 85% of the reported cases this year.

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