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Measles cases in NYC rise to 329, outbreak expected to worsen

16 April 2019

With 555 total cases, 2019 now has the second-highest number of measles cases in the United States in 25 years - and the year isn't even half over. It is the worst outbreak seen in the city since 1991, the mayor said. "Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases", the WHO added. The World Health Organization reported Monday there were more than 110,000 measles cases worldwide in the first three months of 2019 - an increase of almost 300% from the same period past year.

The agency noted that only about one in 10 actual measles cases are reported, meaning the early trends for 2019 likely underestimate the severity of the outbreaks. According to the CDC, there was an average of 6,000 measles-related deaths each year within the first decade of the disease being reported.

In 2000, measles was largely eradicated, having not been continually transmitted for a period of more than 12 months thanks to a highly effective vaccination program in the United States.

The CDC recommends two doses of the measles mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine for children.

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Global coverage for the second dose is only 67 per cent.

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"Vaccine is the path to stopping this outbreak", Palacio said.

The 20 states reporting measles this year are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

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Last week, New York City officials declared a public health emergency and ordered mandatory measles vaccinations to halt the outbreak concentrated among ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, putting in place the broadest vaccination order in the United States in almost three decades.

In response to recent measles outbreaks, calls have mounted in several countries to make immunisation mandatory.

"Most measles outbreaks in the United States stop sooner than this", she said.

NY health officials said they were working with orthodox Jewish leaders to combat anti-vaccination campaigns.

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Another outbreak has hit Orthodox Jewish families in New York's Rockland County.

Measles cases in NYC rise to 329, outbreak expected to worsen