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Measles Outbreaks 2014

Measles in the United States

By

Updated July 23, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Measles cases greatly decreased after the introduction of the measles vaccine in the 1960s.

Measles cases greatly decreased after the introduction of the measles vaccine in the 1960s.

Photo courtesy of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

In the United States, rates of measles, a vaccine-preventable disease, had been fairly low since the endemic spread of measles was eliminated in 2000.

Before the routine use of the measles vaccine (1963) and the MMR vaccine (1971), though, measles cases -- and complications from those cases -- were high. There used to be about 500,000 cases of measles and 500 measles deaths each year in the United States.

Measles Outbreaks 2014

Unfortunately measles cases have been on the rise recently. After hitting a record low number of cases in 2004 (just 37 cases), we seem to continue to hit new record highs for measles every few years now.

So far, there have already been at least 580 confirmed cases of measles in the U.S. in 2014 (the most since 1994).

Some recent measles outbreaks and exposures include:

  • Three new cases in Ohio, bringing the case count to 374 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  46 in Ashland County, 44 in Coshocton County, 1 in Crawford County, 1 in Highland County, 61 in  Holmes County, 195 in Knox County, 19 in Richland County, 6 in Stark County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • Three new cases in Ohio, bringing the case count to 371 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  46 in Ashland County, 44 in Coshocton County, 1 in Crawford County, 1 in Highland County, 58 in  Holmes County, 195 in Knox County, 19 in Richland County, 6 in Stark County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • Two new cases in Sedgwick County, Kansas, including an infant that was too young to be immunized and an unvaccinated student at Wichita State University, bringing the total to 8 in this outbreak and 11 in Kansas this year. The 3-month-old infant contracted measles while eating at a restaurant with his family and getting exposed to a sick employee. The infant then exposed other infants at his daycare. (2014)
     
  • Another case in Pierce County, Washington, bringing the total to at least 27 for the year. (2014)
     
  • A second related case in Abilene, Texas, who possibly exposed others to measles at the Bonzai Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar late last month. (2014)
     
  • At least 368 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  46 in Ashland County, 44 in Coshocton County, 1 in Crawford County, 1 in Highland County, 55 in  Holmes County, 195 in Knox County, 19 in Richland County, 6 in Stark County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • A case in Providence, Rhode Island who was hospitalized and exposed people at Rhode Island Hospital and Roger Williams Medical Center. (2014)
     
  • At least 363 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  46 in Ashland County, 42 in Coshocton County, 1 in Crawford County, 1 in Highland County, 52 in  Holmes County, 195 in Knox County, 19 in Richland County, 6 in Stark County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • An infant in Taylor County, Texas who contracted measles while traveling to another state in the US. (2014)
     
  • A case of measles at Middlesex Hospital in Middleton, Connecticut. (2014)
     
  • At least 357 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  45 in Ashland County, 39 in Coshocton County, 1 in Crawford County, 1 in Highland County, 51 in  Holmes County, 194 in Knox County, 19 in Richland County, 6 in Stark County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • At least 9 measles cases in Washington, including 8 cases in south King County (members of one family) and another case in Pierce County (an infant who was exposed to members of the other family when they sought treatment in a local hospital), all linked to another person who had returned from the Pacific Islands in May. (2014)
     
  • Three cases of measles in Johnson County, Kansas. (2014)
     
  • At least 348 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  45 in Ashland County, 36 in Coshocton County, 1 in Crawford County, 1 in Highland County, 48 in  Holmes County, 191 in Knox County, 19 in Richland County, 6 in Stark County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • A partially vaccinated adult in Utah who contracted measles while traveling in Europe. (2014)
     
  • At least 298 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  37 in Ashland County, 19 in Coshocton County, 1 in Highland County, 36 in  Holmes County, 187 in Knox County, 11 in Richland County, 6 in Stark County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • A growing cluster of measles cases in Kansas City, Missouri, now up to at least 13 cases. (2014)
     
  • At least 287 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  36 in Ashland County, 19 in Coshocton County, 1 in Highland County, 36 in  Holmes County, 185 in Knox County, 9 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • At least 249 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  36 in Ashland County, 19 in Coshocton County, 36 in  Holmes County, 150 in Knox County, 7 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • Two cases of measles in Johnson County, Kansas, including an unvaccinated child. (2014)
     
  • At least 239 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  36 in Ashland County, 19 in Coshocton County, 33 in  Holmes County, 143 in Knox County, 7 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • A person in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania who exposed other people in Harrisburg and Middletown. (2014)
     
  • At least 233 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  36 in Ashland County, 19 in Coshocton County, 32 in  Holmes County, 138 in Knox County, 7 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • At least 225 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  36 in Ashland County, 19 in Coshocton County, 29 in  Holmes County, 133 in Knox County, 7 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • At least 206 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including  36 in Ashland County, 13 in Coshocton County, 23 in  Holmes County, 128 in Knox County, 5 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. (2014)
     
  • A child who exposed people at Sea-Tac Airport. (2014)
     
  • At least 183 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 36 in Ashland County, 13 in Coshocton County, 20 in  Holmes County, 111 in Knox County, 2 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • At least 177 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 31 in Ashland County, 13 in Coshocton County, 20 in  Holmes County, 111 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • At least 164 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 31 in Ashland County, 12 in Coshocton County, 19 in  Holmes County, 100 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • At least 155 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 23 in Ashland County, 11 in Coshocton County, 19 in  Holmes County, 100 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • Another case of measles in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. (2014)
     
  • At least 143 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 19 in Ashland County, 6 in Coshocton County, 19 in  Holmes County, 97 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • At least 129 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 17 in Ashland County, 6 in Coshocton County, 18 in  Holmes County, 86 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • Another case in Virginia, an adult who exposed people at a lot of places throughout Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington counties in Virginia; Montgomery County in Maryland and Washington, D.C. (2014)
     
  • At least 111 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 17 in Ashland County, 6 in Coshocton County, 12 in  Holmes County, 73 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 2 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • A hospitalized man in Humboldt County, California who had recently returned from a trip out of the United States. (2014)
     
  • At least 89 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 15 in Ashland County, 6 in Coshocton County, 11 in  Holmes County, 54 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 2 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • At least 83 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 14 in Ashland County, 6 in Coshocton County, 8 in  Holmes County, 52 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 2 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • Two more cases in Clay County, Missouri, the mother and sibling of an unvaccinated infant who developed measles after traveling out of the country. (2014)
     
  • At least 75 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 14 in Ashland County, 4 in Coshocton County, 9 in  Holmes County, 45 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 2 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • A confirmed case in Boston, Massachusetts, who may have exposed others at Massachusetts General Hospital. (2014)
     
  • At least 73 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 14 in Ashland County, 4 in Coshocton County, 7 in  Holmes County, 45 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 2 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • An unvaccinated infant in Clay County, Missiouri who had recently returned from an international trip. (2014)
     
  • Five cases of measles in Tennessee, including Madison, Shelby, Gibson, Hamilton and Hardeman counties. (2014)
     
  • At least 68 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 14 in Ashland County, 4 in Coshocton County, 7 in  Holmes County, 40 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. This is an ongoing outbreak. (2014)
     
  • At least 59 cases of measles in Ohio since March 22, including 9 in Ashland County, 4 in Coshocton County, 6 in  Holmes County, 38 in Knox County, 1 in Richland County, and 1 in Wayne County. This is now the largest outbreak in the United States since the endemic spread of measles was eliminated. It beats the record 58 cases in the 2013 New York City outbreak. (2014)
     
  • A case in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania who might have exposed others at an area restaurant. (2014)
     
  • A case at Evamere Elementary School in Hudson, Ohio, which has led to the quarantine of 18 unvaccinated students. (2014)
     
  • A child in Northern Virginia who exposed other people in at least 10 locations in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, including a pediatrician's office and the labor and delivery area of a local hospital. (2014)
     
  • Someone, somewhere in Tennessee. (2014)
     
  • At least 32 people in six Ohio counties in an outbreak that began among Amish who had traveled to the Philippines. (2014)
     
  • A student at Redding Elementary School in Connecticut. (2014)
     
  • A child in San Joaquin County, California who contracted measles after traveling out of the country. (2014)
     
  • A person in Pennsylvania who exposed others at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. (2014)
     
  • At least 26 people in five Ohio counties in an outbreak that began among Amish who had traveled to the Philippines. (2014)
     
  • An adult in Branford, Connecticut who had attended a playgroup at a local library while he was likely contagious. (2014)
     
  • At least 21 people in three Ohio counties in an outbreak that began among Amish who had traveled to the Philippines. (2014)
     
  • A partially vaccinated 19-month-old in Hennepin County, Minnesota who had traveled out of the country. (2014)
     
  • At least 13 people in Holmes County and Knox County, Ohio which began among an Amish-Mennonite Organization that traveled to the Philippines. (2014)
     
  • Another case of measles in New York City. (2014)
     
  • At least 58 confirmed cases in California, a jump from the 49 cases they were reporting a few weeks ago. (2014)
     
  • A resident of Kitsap County, Washington who likely developed measles after being exposed in the San Juan County outbreak. This brings the total number of cases in Washington to at least 12. (2014)
     
  • An unvaccinated person in Maricopa County, Arizona who had recently returned from Europe and who likely exposed people at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and other areas in Phoenix and Scottsdale. (2014)
     
  • A tourist from California who exposed people in West Seattle and the Sea-Tac Airport in Washington. (2014)
     
  • A resident of Redding, California who may have exposed people at a local Olive Garden restaurant. It is their first case in 17 years. (2014)
     
  • A student at UC Berkeley who exposed Bay Area residents while taking BART from Oakland to Berkeley and attending classes. (2014)
     
  • A confirmed case in a hospitalized patient in Springfield, Massachusetts. (2014)
     
  • Four more cases of measles in New York City, bringing the total case count in this outbreak to at least 25 people, including 12 children and 13 adults. (2014)
     
  • An adult who may have exposed others in San Juan Island, Washington. (2014)
     
  • An unvaccinated infant who exposed others at the Portland International Airport. (2014)
     
  • At least 4 cases of measles in Whatcom County, Washington, which initially started in a resident who contracted measles while traveling in British Columbia's eastern Fraser Valley, where there are at least 228 cases. (2014)
     
  • A resident of California who may have exposed others to measles at Sea-Tac airport. (2014)
     
  • At least 49 cases of measles in California so far this year (as compared to just 4 cases at this same time last year), including cases in Alameda (1), Contra Costa (4), Los Angeles (10), Orange (21), Riverside (5), San Mateo (3), San Diego (4) and Santa Clara (1) counties. (2014)
     
  • At least 21 cases of measles in Orange County, California so far this year, including 7 people who required hospitalization, in what the Orange County Health Department is calling the worst outbreak in 20 years. (2014)
     
  • Two more cases of measles in NYC, bringing the total case count to 21 - 10 kids and 11 adults, with most of the children either intentionally not vaccinated or too young to be vaccinated. (2014)
     
  • At least 32 cases of measles in California so far this year (as compared to just 3 cases at this same time last year), including cases in Alameda (1), Contra Costa (4), Los Angeles (10), Orange (6), Riverside (5), San Mateo (1), San Diego (4) and Santa Clara (1) counties. (2014)
     
  • Three more cases of measles in NYC, bringing the total case count to 19. (2014)
     
  • Two unrelated cases with unknown sources in Farifield County, Connecticut, including an unvaccinated adult and a 7-month old infant, who was too young to be vaccinated. (2014)
     
  • Another large measles outbreak in New York City, affecting at least 7 adults and 9 children in Manhattan and the Bronx. (2014)
     
  • A fifth case of measles in Orange County, California, who exposed others in St. Joseph's ER on March 2nd and 3rd. (2014)
     
  • Two more cases of measles in San Diego, California which are linked to an outbreak in February, when a person exposed others at two different Naval medical facilities after contracting measles in the Philippines. (2014)
     
  • A second case of measles in Macomb, Illinois. (2014)
     
  • Two more cases of measles in Massachusetts, this time in Middlesex County. (2014)
     
  • An unvaccinated man in Rhode Island, who may have exposed people to measles at two area hospitals and a CVS in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. (2014)
     
  • Two unvaccinated family members of the University of California student who had contracted measles following a trip to the Philippines. (2014)
     
  • A case of measles in San Mateo County, California - a person who had recently traveled internationally. (2014)
     
  • A case of measles in Orange County, New York. (2014)
     
  • A small child in McDonough County, Illinois. (2014)
     
  • Another suspected case of measles in Hawaii, an unvaccinated toddler (delayed immunization) that was exposed (in a doctor's office) to the unvaccinated  infant with measles that had traveled to the Philippines a few weeks ago. (2014)
     
  • Two cases in the suburbs west of Boston. (2014)
     
  • Two more cases of measles among the unvaccinated, quarantined students at Crowne Hill Elementary School in Temecula, California. (2014)
     
  • A person in San Diego, California who contracted measles in the Philippines and who exposed people at Branch Health Clinic Miramar on Feb. 14 and Feb. 18 and at Naval Medical Center San Diego on Feb. 17. (2014)
     
  • At least one person in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania who developed measles after exposure to someone in New York. The University of Pittsburgh graduate student exposed people to measles on a city bus and could have exposed up to 100 cancer patients to measles at UPMC's Hillman Cancer Center. (2014)
     
  • At least four people in Orange County, California who have developed measles, with at least two of them becoming infected while traveling in Asia. (2014)
     
  • An unvaccinated 11-month-old infant in Oahu, Hawaii who had just returned from the Philippines, where there has been a very large outbreak of measles in the last few years.
     
  • A student at a Temecula, California elementary school, which has led to the quarantine of at least 10 other unvaccinated students.
     
  • An unvaccinated student at the University of California, Berkeley who studied abroad in Asia and exposed others while attending classes and riding Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) between Tuesday, February 4 through Friday, February 7.
     
  • A confirmed case in Dallas, Texas which is not linked to two other area cases, did not travel internationally, and who did require hospitalization. (2014)
     
  • A confirmed case in Grant County, Washington. (2014)
     
  • A student at the University of Rochester in Monroe County, New York. (2014)
     
  • Two related cases in North Texas, including an unvaccinated 12-month-old in Collin County, Texas who contracted measles on a trip out of the country. (2014)
     
  • A graduate student at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts who likely contracted measles on a trip to South America. (2014)
     
  • A resident of Rockland County, New York who may have exposed people at the Palisades Center Mall. (2014)
     
  • An unvaccinated young child who may have exposed people to measles at Albany Medical Center in New York. (2014)
     
  • An adult in Wisconsin who may have exposed hundreds of people to measles at UW Hospital. (2014)
     
  • An unvaccinated student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The student had signed a waiver to allow them to attend the college without the otherwise required vaccine. (2014)
     
  • A child in Silverton, Oregon who reportedly developed measles after contact with an adult and other family members in a household outbreak of measles that is now affecting at least five family members. (2014)
     
  • Someone in California - the first case of 2014.
     
  • A partially vaccinated elementary school child in Clark County, Washington who developed a mild or "modified case" of measles after getting exposed to the child in Portland. (2013)
  • An infant who was supposedly too young to be vaccinated in King County, Washington who was likely exposed to measles on an overseas trip and exposed people around Seattle, including the Sea-Tac Airport. (2013)
  • A child in Washington County, Oregon who developed measles on an overseas trip and exposed hundreds of people in the Portland area. (2013)
  • An additional person in King County, Washington, an incompletely vaccinated sibling to the unvaccinated child who got measles while traveling in Europe. (2013)
  • An least two cases in Boston, Massachusetts, including multiple exposures at area hospitals, which has led that state to issue a measles alert. (2013)
  • An unvaccinated person in Monroe County, Illinois who exposed others to measles at the Indianapolis International Airport. (2013)
  • An unvaccinated child in King County, Washington who exposed people to measles at the US Tennis Association Pacific Northwest Juniors Sectional Tennis Tournament in Washington County and area stores, hotels, and restaurants. (2013)
  • Sixteen confirmed cases of measles in Tarrant County, Texas, which includes Fort Worth, in what began with an adult who traveled overseas. Another case is under investigation, with one of the cases being an infant who is only 4 months old. The majority of the cases were not vaccinated against measles.(2013)
  • A teenager in Kern County, California who contracted measles while vacationing in Europe. (2013)
  • A confirmed case of measles in the Orlando, Florida area. A British tourist who visited numerous tourist attractions in the Orlando area. (2013)
  • One confirmed case in Ventura County, California and an additional four probable cases that are linked to a tourist from Europe, where there have been a high number of cases in recent years. (2013)
  • A person in San Diego who was exposed to measles on an international flight from Europe and may have exposed others at Fallbrook Hospital. (2013)
  • Two cases in western Washington, including a child, who may have exposed others in Mercer Island, Seattle, and Kirkland. (2013)
  • A traveler who passed through Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington on July 4 while contagious. (2013)
  • A person in Bellingham, Washington who may have exposed people to measles at a local Costco and the Bellis Fair Mall. (2013)
  • The New York City measles outbreak which grew to 58 confirmed cases and prompted new vaccination rules for area children to help stop the outbreak. This is the largest outbreak in the United States since the endemic spread of measles was eliminated! (2013)
  • A person in Watchung, New Jersey who may have exposed others at BJ's Wholesale Club on June 3. (2013)
  • A traveler at Dulles International Airport in Virginia who may have exposed people to measles at the baggage claim area of the airport. (2013)
  • A man in Colorado who had traveled from India and likely exposed others at a clinic and the Sky Ridge Medical Center between May 25 and 27, one of which subsequently developed measles. (2013)
  • A 14-month-old child in Dallas, Texas who was unvaccinated and had recently traveled out of the United States. (2013)
  • At least one case of measles in Spring Valley, New York who may have exposed others at the Hatzlacha Grocery Store on May 22, when a mother brought her infected child to the store. The case is thought to be linked to the measles outbreak in Brooklyn. (2013)
  • A possible case of measles at the Grand Coulee Dam School District in Coulee Dam, Washington. (2013)
  • From the initial 5 cases, there are at least 34 cases of measles in New York City now, including 27 in the Borough Park area of Brooklyn and 7 in Williamsburg. All of the cases are in people who were unvaccinated and according to a measles alert from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, complications have included "pneumonia, a miscarriage, and two hospitalizations." (2013)
  • An ongoing measles outbreak in North Carolina, with an additional case being discovered after a person who attended two youth baseball games in Orange County developed symptoms of measles and exposed many people to measles on May 3 or 4, bringing their case count to 21, with an additional 44 people requiring quarantine. (2013).
  • An infant in Battle Creek, Michigan, who traveled out of the country without being vaccinated against measles and likely exposed others to measles at an area pediatric office and an emergency room. (2013).
  • At least 1 case in Beverly, Massachusetts. A person who was at Beverly High School during the ACT test and who exposed 344 people to measles, including 95 Beverly High students and 167 students from other schools. (2013).
  • At least 19 cases in Stokes County and Orange County, North Carolina that has been traced to an unvaccinated individual who traveled to India and spread it to other people. (2013).
  • At least 5 cases in Borough Park area of Brooklyn, New York. All of the cases were in unvaccinated individuals, who ranged in age from 10 months to 23 years. Due to the large number of exposures in the area, additional cases are expected. The initial case was a traveler from London, where there is a large outbreak of measles (2013).
  • An unvaccinated one-year-old in Harris County, Texas with a recent history of international travel and who may have infected several other people. (2013).
  • At least eight cases, including five children, in Stokes County and Orange County, North Carolina that has been traced to an unvaccinated individual who traveled to India and spread it to other, mostly unvaccinated people. (2013).
  • Three cases in Somerset, New Jersey that are thought to be linked to a patient at Somerset Medical Center. (2013).
  • A student at the Indiana University Bloomington campus. (2013).
  • At least two cases in Gentry, Arkansas in unvaccinated siblings. A third case is suspected. (2012).
  • Seventeen cases of measles in Indiana, including sixteen cases of measles in two counties just north of Indianapolis, Indiana (2012).
  • An vaccinated 6-year-old (it is unknown if she was fully or partially vaccinated though) in Clayton, Delaware (2012).
  • An unvaccinated child in Riverside County, California (2012).
  • Six cases in Finley County, Kansas, which started in two family members who had traveled out of the country and then spread to four of their contacts (2012).

In addition to many developing countries where measles is still endemic,  international measles outbreaks have been reported in:

  • Philippines - about 26,014 suspected cases, 6,016 confirmed cases and 41 measles deaths through late April 2014 - CDC Watch Level 1 Travel Health Notice
  • Japan - 324 cases already in 2014 (232 cases in all of 2013), including at least one case of measles encephalitis and almost all unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
  • Australia - already 194 cases in 2014, (151 cases in 2013), including large clusters of cases in Victoria and Queensland.
  • Vietnam - 108 deaths in children so far in 2014 (in just three large hospitals) and at least 3,716 cases.
  • New Zealand - 113 cases in 2014 (8 cases in 2013)
  • Canada - there has been a higher than usual number of cases of measles in Canada this year, including 24 cases in Alberta, 11 in Ontario, 8 in Manitoba, 16 in Saskatchewan, and over 400 cases in an outbreak that began in a Christian school in British Columbia, but has now spread to the general community
  • United Kingdom - 842 cases in 2014, which follows 3,308 cases (2013), and 1,401 cases in 2012, the most since 1994, including a large outbreak in Wales and one death
  • Brazil - an ongoing outbreak in Ceará (388 cases), which is worrisome to many health officials, as this area is one of the venues for the FIFA 2014 World Cup
  • European Union - ongoing outbreaks in Latvia, Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Italy.

As in previous years, almost all cases were not vaccinated or were only partially vaccinated. In Europe, among 10,271 cases, there have been 8 cases of acute measles encephalitis 3 deaths.

The rise in measles cases around the world has changed the recommendations for measles vaccination in the U.S. While children routinely get their first MMR vaccine at 12 months and a booster dose at 4 years, if they are traveling overseas, infants should get their first dose as young as six months of age. Children who are at least 12 months old should get two doses of MMR, separated by at least 28 days.

Measles Outbreaks - What You Need To Know

Other things to know about measles and measles outbreaks include:

  • From 2 to 5% of people do not respond to their first dose of measles vaccine, which is why a booster dose is recommended. But more than 99% of people develop immunity to measles after two doses of a measles vaccine, like MMR.
     
  • A booster dose of MMR was not first recommended in 1989, so many adults born before 1985 may not have had two doses of MMR.
     
  • Measles is fatal in about 0.2% of cases.
     
  • Very few of the measles cases in these outbreaks are in people who are completely vaccinated. For example, in the outbreaks in Europe in 2011, when 30,000 people got measles, causing 8 deaths, 27 cases of measles encephalitis, and 1,482 cases of pneumonia, most cases were in unvaccinated (82%) or incompletely vaccinated (13%) people.
     
  • The measles virus is spread by respiratory droplets and can stay in an area for up to two hours after a person with measles symptoms has left.
     
  • People with measles are contagious from four days before to four days after they develop the measles rash.
     
  • Call your pediatrician if you think your child has measles (don't just show up at their office or in the ER), especially if he develops a high fever and/or rash during a local measles outbreak or after a trip out of the country.
     
  • It is expensive to contain a measles outbreak.

Most importantly, parents should understand that a measles vaccine (MMR) is the best way to protect your child from measles, and is especially important if there is a measles outbreak in your area or if you are traveling to an area with high rates of measles.

Sources:

CDC. Notifiable Diseases and Mortality Tables. MMWR. February 28, 2014 / 63(08);ND-100-ND-113.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Measles and rubella monitoring January-December 2013. 28 Feb 2014

CDC. Outbreak of Measles --- San Diego, California, January--February 2008. MMWR. February 29, 2008 / 57(08);203-206

CDC. Update: Measles --- United States, January--July 2008. MMWR. August 22, 2008 / 57(33);893-896

Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (4th Edition, 2008)

The Pink Book: Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. Updated 11th Edition, (May 2009)

World Health Organization. Measles Fact Sheet. December 2009. Accessed February 2011.

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