U.S. measles cases are on track to set an alarming record, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released Monday.
The number of confirmed cases in a single year is approaching its highest number since public health officials declared measles eradicated in the country in 2000. The CDC has recorded 465 cases so far in 2019, at a rate of 4.84 cases a day, reported The Washington Post.
That’s compared to 667 cases reported in all of 2014, which is currently the worst year on record since 2000, with a rate of 1.83 cases a day. At this rate, 2019 is set to have the highest number of measles cases in nearly two decades by June, according to WaPo.
A growing number of parents resisting vaccinating their children against disease like measles is responsible for the uptick, many experts say. Communities from Washington to New York are facing measles outbreaks and grasping for unorthodox solutions, including in New York’s Rockland County, which banned unvaccinated children under the age of 18 from public places including churches and schools.
The CDC added four more names to its list of states with confirmed measles cases Monday. The total is now 19 states.
Before measles was declared eradicated, the highest number of cases in a year was 963 in 1994, according to NBC News.
Some parents have been afraid to vaccinate their children because of a supposed link between the vaccines and developing autism, but a 10-year Danish study, published in March, of more than 650,000 people showed no evidence there is a link between autism and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. Several of the top books discussing children’s health on Amazon were written by prominent people skeptical of vaccinations.
Measles is both highly contagious and comes with serious complications, including pneumonia; inflammation of the brain, also known as encephalitis; and seizures.
The complete list of states with confirmed measles cases is:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
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