Where Is Measles on the Rise?

We have been hearing a lot about ongoing measles outbreaks in the United States this year.

Brooklyn. Rockland County. The Pacific Northwest.

Think 2018 was a big year for measles? It was the second highest number of cases since 1996.

How will 2019 shape up?

Consider that it isn’t even the end of January yet and we have already had more cases, 74 92, than we had in the entire years of 2002 (44 cases), 2003 (55), 2004 (37), 2005 (66), 2006 (55), 2007 (43), 2009 (71), 2010 (61), and 2012 (55).

That’s right. In just three weeks, we have had more than double the amount of cases than all of 2004!

Not surprisingly, this isn’t just happening in the United States.

Where Is Measles on the Rise?

In fact, if you understand that the endemic spread of measles was eliminated in the United States in 2000 and that outbreaks are started by folks with measles who travel in or out of the country, then it makes sense that more measles here likely means that there is more measles somewhere else.

Unfortunately, this year, that somewhere else seems to be just about everywhere.

Japan is off to the fastest start in 10 years, with 46 cases in the first two weeks of January, surpassing 2009, when they ended up with over 700 cases.
Japan is off to the fastest start in 10 years, with 46 cases in the first two weeks of January, surpassing 2009, when they ended up with over 700 cases.

Are you planning a trip to Europe anytime soon?

With so many measles cases in Europe, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that there are so many deaths.
With so many measles cases in Europe, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that there are so many deaths.

You should know that their measles outbreaks aren’t over. There are ongoing outbreaks in Romania, France, Greece, and Italy.

“In 2018 and as of 10 January 2019, most cases in the EU were reported from Romania (5,376), France (2,902), Italy (2,427) and Greece (2,290). Thirty-five deaths were reported in 2018 from Romania (22), Italy (8), France (3) and Greece (2).

Outside EU/EFTA countries, Ukraine is experiencing the continuation of the largest outbreak, with over 54,000 cases reported in 2018, including 16 deaths, and over 2,000 cases, including one death, reported at the start of 2019. Measles cases are also reported by Algeria, Belarus, Israel, Mauritius, Serbia and the US.”

Communicable disease threats report, 6-12 January 2019, week 2

Where else are we seeing measles?

  • at least 3,150 cases in Israel and 2 deaths in 2018
  • over 17,300 in the Philippines and at least 24 deaths in 2018
  • nearly 2,000 cases in Vietnam (2018) and cases are increasing in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City already in 2019
  • at least 517 confirmed cases in the UK (through the 3rd quarter of 2018)
  • India remains the country with the most cases, with over 65,600 cases in 2018
  • over 19,000 cases and 39 deaths in Madagascar
  • a large outbreak in Thailand, with at least 4,327 cases
  • an ongoing outbreak in Malaysia with over 1,934 cases and 6 deaths (2018)
  • at least 30 cases in the Republic of Korea
  • outbreaks in Yemen, Nigeria, Sudan, and DR Congo
Conflict zones plus vaccine hesitancy contribute to measles outbreaks in the Philippines.
Conflict zones plus vaccine hesitancy contribute to measles outbreaks in the Philippines.

And over 16,000 confirmed measles cases, including 86 deaths, have been reported in 12 countries of the Region of the Americas: Antigua and Barbuda (1 case), Argentina (14 cases), Brazil (9,898 cases, including 13 deaths), Canada (29 cases), Chile (2 cases ), Colombia (171 cases), Ecuador (19 cases), Guatemala (1 case), Mexico (5 cases), Peru (38 cases), the United States of America (350 cases), and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (5,643 cases, including 73 deaths).

Does it seem like measles is on the rise everywhere?

That’s because it basically is.

Since 2017, there has been a measles resurgence in three regions of the world and measles elimination milestones have not been met.

And as you can see, in almost all of these places where we are seeing more measles, we are seeing more people dying of measles?

That’s why it is important to get vaccinated.

There is even a recommendation to get an early MMR if you will be traveling out of the United States. Get vaccinated. Don’t bring home measles and start an outbreak.

More on the Resurgance of Measles

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