U.S. measles cases in first 5 months of 2019 surpass total cases for any year since 1992

CDC reported Thursday that the number of measles cases recorded so far this year hit 971, a figure exceeding a high set in 1992, when 963 cases were recorded in the entire year.

CDC reported Thursday that the number of measles cases recorded so far this year hit 971, a figure exceeding a high set in 1992, when 963 cases were recorded in the entire year. "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," said CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD. "Again, I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism. The greater danger is the disease the vaccination prevents." In New York, outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County have continued for almost 8 months. CDC noted that if the outbreaks continue through the summer and fall, the country could lose its measles elimination status, which it achieved in 2000. "That loss would be a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health," CDC said. Measles was eliminated for two key reasons: the availability and widespread use of a safe and highly effective measles vaccine, and strong public health infrastructure to detect and contain the disease. CDC urged "parents with questions about measles vaccine to consult with their child's pediatrician, who know the children and community, and want to help parents better understand how vaccines can protect their children. Concerns based on misinformation about the vaccine safety and effectiveness, as well as disease severity, may lead parents to delay or refuse vaccines."