You might remember that 2019 was a horrible year for measles.
But do you have any idea just how bad it really was though?
The 2019 Measles Outbreaks in the United States
In 2019, we had at least 1,282 cases of measles in the United States – the greatest number of cases since 1992.
During these outbreaks:
- eighty-nine percent of measles patients were unvaccinated or had an unknown vaccination status
- 10% were hospitalized, including several who were admitted to the ICU
- serious complications included pneumonia and encephalitis
- only 6% were originally imported from other countries, unlike other years when almost all cases were closely related to an imported case.
- 5,578 out of 23,252 students were excluded from school in Rockland County
- the majority of the cases were in a relatively few, very large outbreaks in close-knit communities in Brooklyn, Rockland County, Michigan, and the Pacific Northwest, among clusters of intentionally unvaccinated children and adults
- we saw the largest outbreak in US (Brooklyn, with 654 cases) since 1992
- we had the longest outbreak in US (Rockland County, at 51 weeks) since measles was eliminated
- we came extremely close to losing our status as having eliminated measles in the United States
And tragically, at least one person died.
A 37-year-old died with measles during the 2019 measles outbreaks in the United States.
We also know that the cost to contain the outbreaks was over $42 million!
The 2019 Measles Outbreaks
Worldwide, measles surged in 2019, reaching the highest number of reported cases in 23 years.
And that came with a record number of measles deaths.
Over 207,500 people died with measles in 2019 worldwide, with measles deaths jumping nearly 50 percent since 2016.
What else do we know?
- four countries (Albania, Czechia, Greece and the United Kingdom) lost their measles elimination status in 2019
- 30 EU/EEA Member States reported 13,207 cases of measles in 2019, with at least 10 deaths, with deaths in Romania (5 deaths), France (2), Hungary (1), Italy (1) and United Kingdom (1), including two deaths in infants less than 12 months old.
- countries with the largest outbreaks included DR Congo (310,000 cases and 6,000 deaths), Madagascar (112,000 cases and 748 deaths), Philippines (47,871 cases and 632 deaths), Ukraine, and India
Of course, we also know that measles is a vaccine-preventable disease!
And even with recent increases, we are greatly below the number of people who suffered and died with measles in the pre-vaccine era.
Where are we going from here?
We don’t know yet…
We certainly know where we can go – right back towards our goals of stopping measles.
Are you vaccinated and protected with two doses of MMR vaccine? Are your kids?
More on the 2019 Measles Outbreaks
- Remembering Measles
- When Measles Epidemics Would Close Schools
- Fun and Games with Measles?
- Why Are You Still Worried About the MMR Vaccine?
- The Myth That Measles Isn’t Deadly
- Are the Measles Outbreaks in New York a Hoax?
- How Do You Know If You Have Measles Immunity?
- Why Are We Having Measles Outbreaks If MMR Vaccination Rates Are Not Declining?
- Did the BMJ Have a Debate About the Risk of Dying from the MMR Vaccine Vs Measles?
- The Timeline of the Measles Epidemic in Samoa
- How Many People Get Measles Each Year?
- Did the Measles Vaccine Have Only a Meager Effect on Deaths?
- The Second COVID-19 Wave Might Not Be COVID-19
- Most Measles Cases in 25 Years: Is This the End of Measles Elimination in the United States?
- Notes from the Field: Measles Outbreaks from Imported Cases in Orthodox Jewish Communities — New York and New Jersey, 2018–2019
- The Measles Outbreak in Rockland County 2018‐2019
- Mayor de Blasio, Health Officials Declare End of Measles Outbreak in New York City
- National Update on Measles Cases and Outbreaks — United States, January 1–October 1, 2019
- Increase in Measles Cases — United States, January 1–April 26, 2019
- Notes from the Field: Community Outbreak of Measles — Clark County, Washington, 2018–2019
- Consequences of Undervaccination — Measles Outbreak, New York City, 2018–2019
- Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2019
- Low vaccination rates and ‘measles parties’ fueled 2019 measles outbreak in NYC
- WHO – Worldwide measles deaths climb 50% from 2016 to 2019 claiming over 207 500 lives in 2019
- Measles outbreak in 2018-2019, Madagascar: epidemiology and public health implications
- ECDC – Monthly measles and rubella monitoring report February 2020
- Philippines: Measles Outbreak – Operation Update – Re-emergence of vaccine preventable diseases – Measles outbreak – DREF n° MDRPH032 (12 March 2020)
- Ukraine: Measles outbreak
- The 2019 U.S. Measles outbreaks: A public health crisis
- A Review of Measles Outbreak Cost Estimates From the United States in the Postelimination Era (2004-2017): Estimates by Perspective and Cost Type
- Measles Vaccination: Myths and Facts
- Fatal measles case linked to exposure at tribal clinic, records show
- Tzim Gezint (For Health)
- A Slice of Pie: MMR Edition