CDC: 2019 Measles cases 2nd highest since 2000

The number of reported measles cases in the U.S. in 2019 is the second highest since 2000

The number of reported measles cases in the U.S. in 2019 is the second highest since 2000

The number of USA measles cases through the first three months of this year have surpassed the count for all of 2018, health officials say.

A total of 387 individual cases have been confirmed in 15 states from January 1 to March 28, 2019.

In 2014, 667 cases were reported over the entire year.

This year's numbers have been driven by outbreaks in several states, including New York, California, Illinois, Texas, and Washington.

The airborne disease is in large part seeing a resurgence due to the refusal of many parents to vaccinate their children, significantly within the Orthodox Jewish community.

The CDC says six outbreaks - defined as three or more cases - are ongoing in California (Santa Cruz and Butte County), New Jersey, New York (Rockland County and New York City) and Washington.

More than 80 unvaccinated travelers imported the disease back to the US from Israel, where there is a large ongoing outbreak, the CDC reported.

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For most people, measles is miserable but not life-threatening.

There have been three measles-related deaths reported since 2000, including two in 2003 and one in 2015. There were 372 previous year. Though the flu-like symptoms of measles generally go away in a number of weeks, the disease can be fatal in some instances.

A case of the measles in Arizona contributed to a record-breaking number of nationwide diagnoses so far in 2019. Also, measles can cause pregnant women to deliver prematurely.

The measles vaccine - known as the MMR vaccine - is very effective.

With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of reactions, according to the CDC.

Two doses are about 97-percent effective. Vaccination against measles - one dose is nearly 93 percent effective in preventing infection - is advised before traveling internationally. Children should receive their first dose between 12 to 15 months and a second dose between 4 and 6 years old.

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