US CDC reports suggest that 90 people developed the deadly and contagious disease called measles in the span of just one week. 2019 so far has recorded 555 measles cases in the United States, which is the second highest recorded number in over 25 years. Dr. Nancy Messonier expressed her concerns regarding the rapidly worsening scenario, especially with about 110,000 reported cases globally between January and March 2019.
The WHO concluded that the number reflects a 300% rise from the same period last year. As the data is only provisional, it is hard to say what the actual number is. The WHO says that only 1 in every 10 cases is reported to them, which makes it very difficult to determine the real number of people that have contracted the disease. Ukraine recorded the maximum number of measles cases over the past 1 year with over 72,000 reports, followed by Madagascar and India with over 69,000 and 60,000 reported cases. Both Henrietta Fore of UNICEF and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO expressed their fears and concerns regarding the highly contagious nature of the disease.
Around 1 in 1,000 affected children develop brain swelling, known as encephalitis, leading to convulsions, deafness or any other kind of intellectual disability. Moreover, 1-2 in every 1,000 infected kids die from measles. Although no deaths in US were reported in 2018 or 2019 from measles, 35 deaths in the EU were reported last year. Prior to beginning of measles vaccination in 1963, the disease killed numerous people and hospitalized many more every year. After 963 reported cases in 1994, measles was believed to have been eliminated from the US. If it continues to spread post 12 months, measles will no longer be considered eradicated from America. Kids are recommended to take 2 MMR vaccines, with the first being injected between 12-15 months of age and the next between 4-6 years of age. While the first provides 93% protection, the second gives 97% protection from measles.
Dr. William Schaffner said that anti-vaccination movements are affecting children’s lives. Washington, Texas, Oregon, NYC, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nevada, Missouri, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Kentucky, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, Arizona and Florida are reporting measles cases with NYC being the outbreak site. Messonier explained that the trust of people have to be gained in order to bring the disease under control.