The number of measles cases in the U.S. continues to rise in 2019.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 60 more people are infected with the disease, bringing the total for this year to 764. That is the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.
At least 23 states have reported at least one case of measles this year. Nebraska is not among those states; however, Iowa, Missouri and Colorado have reported cases. New York is one of the hardest hit states.
Health officials blame misinformation about vaccinations for the current rise in cases and continue to urge people to get vaccinated.
The CDC recommends two doses of the MMR vaccine. The first when babies are between 12 and 15 months old. The second when kids are between 4 and 6.
Symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing.
The CDC said the U.S. experienced 17 outbreaks in 2018.
According to the CDC website, three outbreaks in New York State, New York City, and New Jersey contributed to most of the cases. Those occurred primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities. These outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring. More than 80 people brought measles to the U.S. from other countries in 2018. This is the greatest number of imported cases since measles was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000.