Most of the reported cases of measles in the United States this year are the result of importations of the disease from US residents traveling abroad, according to a domestic measles update presented at the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
This year, there have been 514 cases of measles and 48 importations, half of which were imported from the Philippines, where there is currently a large outbreak, said Greg Wallace, MD, of the CDC’s measles, mumps, rubella and polio team.
“Among cases in US residents, most are among unvaccinated individuals and those with unknown vaccination status,” Wallace said. “This also affects infants who are too young to be vaccinated.”
After documentation of measles elimination from the United States in 2000, there has been a low number of cases each year. In 2008, there were several outbreaks that led to a larger case count, and in 2011, there was a record number of cases influenced by importation from Western Europe. In 2013, there were three independent outbreaks.
This year, the United States has reported the largest number of measles cases in a year since 1994, as a result of the outbreak in the Philippines. The large outbreak in Ohio is linked to three people who traveled to the Philippines for relief work. Then it trickled into the community and is currently dominating in three counties.
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