Tag: measles records

The Rockland County Measles Outbreak is Ending

Maybe they don’t want to jinx it or maybe no one else is paying attention, but folks should know that the Rockland County measles outbreak should be very quietly ending this week.

The last new measles case in Rockland County was on August 15.
The last new measles case in Rockland County was reported on August 15.

Wait, don’t you need to go 42 days (two incubation periods) without a new case to declare an outbreak over?

The Rockland measles outbreak will end on September 26, when 42 days have passed since the last new measles case.
The Rockland measles outbreak will end on September 25, when 42 days have passed since the last new measles case.

Yes.

But besides the 16 historical cases which were added on August 26, the last new case in Rockland County was reported on August 15.

Folks were first exposed to an unvaccinated traveler in the Rockland County measles outbreak on September 28, 2018. By mid-November, there were already 68 confirmed cases in the area.
Folks were first exposed to an unvaccinated traveler in the Rockland County measles outbreak on September 28, 2018. By mid-November, there were already 68 confirmed cases in the area.

That means that the Rockland Count outbreak, which started in September 2018, will end, if there are no new cases, on September 25, 2019.

The Rockland County Measles Outbreak is Ending

While it is exciting news that the outbreak is ending, it is even more welcome and exciting that the outbreak is ending this week!

“Outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, New York have continued for nearly 8 months. If these outbreaks continue through summer and fall, the United States may lose its measles elimination status.”

U.S. measles cases in first five months of 2019 surpass total cases per year for past 25 years

If it had gone any longer, we would have been in danger of losing our status of having eliminated the endemic spread of measles.

Remember all of the talk about medical martial law in Rockland County?

And we would have had to continue to put up with anti-vax propaganda and misinformation that scares parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

Almost all of the measles cases in Rockland County were children and almost all of them were unvaccinated.
Almost all of the measles cases in Rockland County were children and almost all of them were unvaccinated.

Instead, as the outbreak ends, we will hopefully learn some lessons, get more folks vaccinated and protected and move towards having record low numbers of measles cases once again.

Still, the Rockland County measles outbreak, with 312 cases, will end as the longest measles outbreak since the end of the endemic spread of measles in 2000.

With 654 cases, the Brooklyn outbreak, which lasted 11 months and cost over $6 million to contain, gets the record for being the largest measles outbreak in recent history.

More on the Rockland County Measles Outbreak

If Measles Was Eliminated, Why Do We Still Have Measles?

Measles has been declared eliminated in the United States.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that we totatly got rid of measles.

When Was Measles Eliminated in the United States?

That becomes clear when you realize that there were 86 cases of measles in the United States when measles was eliminated.

When was that?

Back in March 2000.

What Does Measles Elimination Really Mean?

So why do we still have measles if it was eliminated already?

It’s because elimination is not eradication.

Measles is much more contagious than smallpox, which is part of the reason we are stuck in the measles elimination phase.
Measles is much more contagious than smallpox, which is part of the reason we are stuck in the elimination phase.

And even then, technically measles itself hasn’t been eliminated in the United States.

The Endemic Spread of Measles

Only the endemic spread of measles has been eliminated.

“Endemic measles transmission is the existence of any continuous indigenous chain of transmission of measles virus that persists for >1 year in any defined geographic area (e.g., the United States).”

Orenstein on Defining and Assessing Measles Elimination Goals

That’s why we still have measles. All of the cases we do now have are either imported or linked to a case that was imported.

Unfortunately, as our measles outbreaks get longer and harder to control, it could be that we soon lose our designation of having eliminated measles and all of the progress that went with it.

More on Measles Elimination in the United States

Who’s Getting Measles?

We will soon pass the last record high number of measles cases – 963 cases – set in 1994.

We will soon pass the last record high number of measles cases - 963 cases - set in 1994.

With 839 cases as of mid-April, it’s hard to believe that only 55 cases were reported during all of 2012!

Who’s Getting Measles?

So what do we know about the people who are getting measles?

More importantly, the thing that most parents want to know – are their families at risk?

We know that of the 839 cases right now:

  • 442 are in Brooklyn among the Orthodox Jewish community, where only 4% of cases have been fully vaccinated
  • 125 are in Rockland County, New York, among the Orthodox Jewish community, where only 3% of cases have been fully vaccinated
  • 78 were in the Pacific Northwest Outbreak (Washington and Oregon), where none were fully immunized – (ended)
  • 43 are in Michigan, mostly among Oakland County’s Orthodox Jewish community, triggered by a man who had recently traveled from New York

So just over 80% of cases are associated with four outbreaks, one of which has been declared over, and mostly among children and adults who were intentionally not vaccinated.

The rest of the 200 cases?

Among 45 cases in California, are 30 cases in these four outbreaks.
Among 45 cases in California, are 30 cases in these four outbreaks.

They are spread out in smaller outbreaks in other states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

Does that mean that you don’t have to worry about measles?

It means that you don’t have to panic about measles.

Get your kids vaccinated and protected, which might include an early dose of MMR, learn the signs and symptoms of measles, and keep up on news of outbreaks in your area.

That should help decrease the risk that they get caught up in an outbreak.

And double check your own vaccine records! Have you had an MMR vaccine? Have you had two doses?

Unfortunately, not everyone can get vaccinated and protected, which is causing some folks to panic. This includes those who are too young to be vaccinated, or fully vaccinated, and those with immune system problems.

That’s not fair.

Let’s stop the outbreaks so we don’t get to the point that measles truly is everywhere and even more high-risk people are put at risk.

More on Who’s Getting Measles

Which Measles Records Will We Break This Year?

Don’t think that this year’s measles outbreaks will break any records?

Wanna bet?

Which Measles Records Will We Break This Year?

Unfortunately, as measles cases rise, we keep breaking new records.

The Rockland County, New York measles outbreak, which has been going on since September 2018, has the record for being the longest outbreak since the endemic spread of measles was eliminated in the United States.

What other records will we break?

What other records are there?

  • 37 cases – the record low for the number of measles cases in a year, set in 2004
  • 667 cases – the recent record high set in 2014 and the most cases since 1994, when there were 963 cases.
  • 383 cases – the largest single outbreak since the endemic spread of measles was eliminated, set in Ohio in 2014

So, it’s late-May and there are over 965 cases and ongoing outbreaks in Rockland County and Brooklyn and many other places…

We are on course to break all of the measles records this year.
Very soon, there will already be more measles cases this year than any other since 1992, passing the old record set in 1994.

I’m thinking that we are on track to break all of the records!

Well, except for the record low one…

Will we ever get there again?

We just broke the 1994 record for the most cases in recent history!

The Brooklyn outbreak, with 550 cases, has already become the largest single outbreak since the endemic spread of measles was eliminated.

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and necessary. Get vaccinated and help stop the outbreaks.

More on Measles Records