2024 Measles Outbreak: U.S. Cases Exceed Last Year’s in Just Three Months


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of measles cases in the United States continues to rise, with this year’s total already exceeding that of 2023.

As of March 21, the CDC confirmed 64 measles cases reported by 17 jurisdictions, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

According to the CDC, 58 cases have been documented in the United States thus far in 2023.

On March 18, the CDC issued a health advice warning individuals, particularly children and international travelers, about the spike in global and U.S. infections and recommending that they be vaccinated.

“Measles (rubeola) is highly contagious; one person infected with measles can infect 9 out of 10 unvaccinated individuals with whom they come in close contact,” according to a health advisory issued by the CDC.

Who is Getting Measles?

The CDC claimed that the majority of reported cases were associated with international travel and children aged 12 months and older who had not gotten the measles vaccine. According to the government organization, measles outbreaks are occurring in many nations, including Austria, the Philippines, Romania, and the UK.

Although the number of cases is worrying, the CDC stated that due to “high population immunity against measles in most U.S. communities, the risk of widescale spread is low.” According to the organization, localities with “low coverage” of vaccinated persons may be more vulnerable to epidemics.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, told the New York Times that the rise in cases should “alert us, rather than alarm us.”

Daskalakis recommends that parents discuss immunization with their pediatrician. Parents discussing immunizations with trusted doctors can help in what Daskalakis described as an “uphill battle.”

“Given the impact on vaccine confidence that we’ve seen after Covid, and during Covid,” the doctor went on to say, “I think we have to just keep that drumbeat going.”

How is Measles Transmitted?

Measles is “an acute viral respiratory illness,” according to the CDC.

Measles can be “highly contagious” and cause “severe health complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and death,” according to the government agency.

Measles is an airborne virus that primarily affects children aged 5 and under, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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