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.
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?
- Why Haven’t We Eradicated Measles Already?
- Who Is ‘Patient Zero’ in the 2019 Measles Outbreaks?
- CDC – Questions About Measles
- MMWR –
Measles — UnitedStates, 1999
- Defining and assessing measles elimination goals.
- Elimination of Endemic Measles, Rubella, and Congenital Rubella Syndrome From the Western Hemisphere – The US Experience
- MMWR – Progress Toward Regional Measles Elimination — Worldwide, 2000–2016
- MMWR – The Principles of Disease Elimination and Eradication
- CDC – Most Measles Cases in 25 Years: Is This the End of Measles Elimination in the United States?