- Health officials say this year's US measles epidemic has surpassed 1,000 illnesses.
"The number of cases are going up, but the numbers [of new cases per week] are varying a lot", Morse said.
Between 2010 and 2019, 667 confirmed cases represented the largest measles outbreak back in 2014.
It said in the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, roughly 3-4 million people contracted the virus annually in the US, resulting in between 400 to 500 deaths each year and 48,000 hospitalizations.
Azar also said the agency has been stressing on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, "amid concerning signs that there are pockets of undervaccination around the country". That 971 number represents the highest level of confirmed cases in the USA since 1992, and the most since the disease was declared eliminated almost 20 years ago.
It's already the highest in 27 years.
As of Thursday, 26 states have reported cases to the CDC.
Even though NY city officials began requiring residents in heavily affected areas, many with large Orthodox Jewish communities, to be vaccinated starting in April, the city still had 173 cases that month and 60 in May.
Most of those cases have been in Orthodox Jewish communities In Brooklyn and Queens with low vaccination rates.
Georgia reported six measles cases so far this year.
Clark County in Washington state had the second-largest outbreak in the U.S. this year with more than 70 cases reported.
The CDC has been implementing a number of initiatives to combat the spread of the disease, including deploying a field team to Rockland County to help diagnose cases, identifying 1,500 people who were exposed to measles while traveling. But he emphasized the burden on the healthcare system from measles complications, such as children who may develop pneumonia and need intensive care. Early on, measles can be confused for other viral illnesses such as the flu.
To protect yourself, doctors recommend immediate vaccination. With the busy summer travel season just about to get underway there's concern about continued importation of measles among vacationers.
Since then, health officials say they've given more than 3,300 measles (MMR) vaccines and held special clinics in the affected areas.
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