- The US has already had more measles cases in 2019 than in any full year since 1992, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
- The CDC recorded 971 measles cases from January 1 to May 30, 2019, beating the previously record of 963 cases in 1992.
- New York City has been particularly badly affected, with over 550 cases.
- The nationwide measles epidemic shows no sign of slowing as some families avoid vaccinating their children, with some citing the widely debunked belief that vaccines cause autism.
- CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said: "I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism. The greater danger is the disease the vaccination prevents."
- Before a measles vaccine became widely available in the 1960s, around 500 people died from the virus every year.
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The US has already recorded more measles cases in 2019 than in any year since 1992, according to the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 971 recorded measles cases between January 1 and May 30, 2019, the CDC said in a press release on Thursday. The number tops the 963 cases recorded by the CDC in 1992.
The US is experiencing a measles epidemic, after an anti-vaccination movement swept the nation, leaving thousands vulnerable to infection. New York City has been especially affected with over 550 cases in 2019.
In April, New York's mayor Bill de Blasio declared a health emergency over the epidemic and introduced a $1,000 fine for families who don't vaccinate their kids.
Measles cases have been recorded across 26 US states, the CDC noted.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said: "Measles is preventable and the way to end this outbreak is to ensure that all children and adults who can get vaccinated, do get vaccinated."
"Again, I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism. The greater danger is the disease the vaccination prevents."
"Your decision to vaccinate will protect your family's health and your community's well-being."
Before the measles vaccine became common in he 1960s, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the US - resulting in 400 to 500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalisations.
Measles is extremely contagious, and if untreated, can lead to infections of the lungs and brain.
When infected people sneeze, cough, or breathe, they release the virus in to the air in moisture droplets.
The virus can then survive on surfaces outside the body for up to two hours, which means that even if you don't make direct contact with a sick person, you can get the measles just by being in a place they've been.
- Read more:
- Photos reveal what it looks like to get the measles when there are no vaccines
- With nearly 700 measles cases this year, the CDC is bracing for the disease to grab a 'foothold' on the US again - for the first time in decades
- Measles is spreading rapidly in New York City - 94 more people have gotten sick this month. Elsewhere, the infection has killed more than 1,200 since October.
- From autism risks to mercury poisoning, here are 10 lies anti-vaxxers are spreading about the measles vaccine
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