The number of measles cases by mid-March has now exceeded the total from last year.

Measles Resurgence in the US: A Growing Concern for Public Health as Cases Surge

As of late last week, the United States has seen at least 64 cases of measles, a highly contagious disease that was thought to have been eliminated from the country by 2000. This is more than double the number of cases reported for all of last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jesse Ehrenfeld, the president of the American Medical Association, stated that the decline in vaccinations against measles in the U.S. since 2019 has put more people at risk of illness, disability, and death. Measles is caused by a virus that is easily spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks and can cause symptoms such as a mild fever, persistent cough, runny nose, sore throat and watery eyes.

If left untreated or unvaccinated against measles infection can lead to complications such as dehydration, ear infection, irritated and swollen airways (croup), and pneumonia. In order to protect themselves from this previously eliminated vaccine-preventable disease, people receive two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps rubella) vaccine given between ages 12-15 months and again at 4-6 years old in most cases.

Due to a lower vaccination rate in the 2022-2023 school year approximately 250 thousand kindergartners are at risk for measles infection.

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