Breaking News – We already have reports of measles cases in at least 41 people from 15 states (Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas) in 2018. Also many reports of measles outbreaks in Europe.
We have come a long way since the development of the first measles vaccines in the early 1960s…
2018 Measles Outbreaks
We were only a few days into the new year when we had our first measles case of 2018, a new student at IU Bloomington, in Indiana. The student had traveled through Newark Liberty International Airport on their way to Indiana.
The next case occurred when a passenger on an international flight landed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and left on a domestic flight to Arkansas (January 10).
In Arkansas, the person exposed at least 150 people at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) emergency department and other areas of Little Rock on January 10 and 11.
And it goes on already, with other measles cases in 2018 including:
- another case in Illinois that is unrelated to the case at O’Hare, although this one was also at the airport (on January 9) while contagious and at other places in Skokie and Evanston, outside of Chicago, Illinois.
- an unvaccinated person in Waxahachie, Texas (just south of Dallas), who may have exposed others at a movie theater on January 9.
- five more cases, all unvaccinated, in Ellis County, Texas that are linked to the original case in Waxahachie
- a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and exposed others on campus in late January and on several Port Authority of Allegheny County buses
- a case in Norman, Oklahoma that is related to international travel and who exposed others at Chuck E Cheese, a pediatrician’s office, and the Norman Regional HealthPlex
- a tourist from Australia exposed people at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Watchtower Education Center, an Urgent Care, and ER and a number of hotels around New York between February 16 and 21
- an unvaccinated student who returned from a trip to Europe and developed measles, exposing others between February 28 through March 2 in Santa Clara County, California at a school in Campbell and the Westgate Center food court.
- a traveler who arrived at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) on March 6 and visited an urgent care center in Washtenaw County. No word yet on which airline or flight the person was on.
- at least three infants who are too young to be vaccinated in Johnson County, Kansas have measles. No word on how they were exposed yet.
- a young child arriving from Brussels to Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on March 12, departing from Terminal C for Memphis, Tennessee
- there are at least four more cases of measles in an ongoing outbreak in and around Kansas City, bringing the total to seven cases, including six cases associated with a daycare, and multiple exposures in Olathe, Paola, Kansas City, Overland Park, and Garner, Kansas between March 2 through March 10
- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) now reports that ten cases have been identified in an ongoing outbreak associated with a daycare – eight Johnson County residents, one Linn County resident associated with the daycare and one Miami County resident not associated with the daycare.
- a case in St. Louis County, Missouri who exposed others on March 13 at The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum and Racanelli’s New York Pizzeria in Kirkwood, and on March 14 Homewood Suites in Chesterfield.
- 3 more cases in Kansas, bringing the total to 13 cases in this ongoing outbreak, with 11 cases in Johnson County, 1 case in Linn County, and 1 case in Miami County.
- another case in the Kansas City, Missouri area, this one following international travel and with exposures on March 19 and 22 at an area restaurant and a CVS pharmacy.
- a fully vaccinated student at the University of Nevada, Reno who exposed others in Washoe County between March 27th to April 2nd on the UNR Campus and other places in Sparks and Reno, including a CVS Minute Clinic and the UNR Student Health Center.
- two more cases in the ongoing Kansas outbreak, bringing the case count to 15, which we have now learned began when an infant who was too young to be vaccinated traveled to Asia.
- a case in Tulsa, Oklahoma, linked to international travel, who exposed others from March 30th to April 3rd in multiple locations.
- five more cases in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, linked to an earlier outbreak, bringing the total to 7, including the case at the UNR Campus, which is linked to this outbreak. The outbreak began when an unvaccinated traveler returned from Europe with measles and all California cases are unvaccinated.
- a tourist from the United Kingdom who may have exposed others to measles in New Orleans in early April.
- another case in the Kansas City area on April 12 that is reportedly not linked to the ongoing outbreak in the JoCo area.
What kind of measles year will 2018 turn out to be?
These outbreaks are a great reminder to review the special vaccine travel requirements, including that adults who “plan to travel internationally should receive 2 doses of MMR at least 28 days apart,” that infants traveling abroad can get their first dose of MMR as early as age 6 to 11 months, with a repeat dose at age 12 months, and that “children aged who are greater than or equal to 12 months need 2 doses of MMR vaccine before traveling overseas,” even if they aren’t four to six years old yet.
For More Information On Measles Outbreaks:
- CDC – Measles Cases and Outbreaks
- Measles Timeline – History of Measles and MMR Vaccination
- Measles Deaths in the United States
- Costs of a Measles Outbreak
- CDC – Measles Outbreak — Minnesota April–May 2017
- CDC – Make Sure You’re Protected against Measles before International Travel
- Anti-Vaccine Movement Causes Worst Measles Epidemic In 20 Years
- Over Half Of Measles Cases In U.S. Outbreaks Are Often Intentionally Unvaccinated
- Anti-vax communities get measles : Outbreaks linked to denial of vaccines
- NYT – How the Anti-Vaxxers Are Winning
- ECDC – Epidemiological update: Measles – monitoring European outbreaks
Updated on April 13, 2018