This year is just getting started, but we already have reports of
86 92 94 measles cases in 7 states, and we haven’t even reached the end of January.
Is that a lot?
Well, let’s compare to previous years…
Is January Usually a Big Measles Month?
- during the late winter and early spring (temperate climates, like the United States)
- after the rainy season (tropical climates)
In the post-vaccine era, measles season seemed to shift a little later, to the spring and early summer. In 1994, for example, when we had 963 cases of measles in the United States, 79% of those cases occurred between April and July.
Similarly, in 2011, we had only seen 15% of the year’s total measles cases by April 1. By August 1, that was up to about 70%.
We do see measles cases year round though, we just seem to see more of them in the spring and early summer months. Since most measles outbreaks in the United States are imported from other parts of the world, you might expect that we would see more cases when folks are traveling more and when there are big outbreaks in other parts of the world.
Unfortunately, measles is on the rise in many parts of the world right now.
And that is likely why we have already seen more cases this month than in the entire year of 2000 (86 cases), 2002 (44 cases), 2003 (55 cases), 2004 (37 cases), 2005 (66 cases), 2006 (66 cases), 2007 (55 cases), 2009 (71 cases), 2010 (61 cases), and 2016 (86 cases).
|Year||January Measles Cases||Total Cases|
As you can see from the above table, January is not typically a big month for measles.
But what happened in 2015? There were a lot of measles cases in January, but we ended the year with only a moderate amount of cases.
That January spike was the California outbreak that had begun in December 2014. By February 2015, there were at least 125 cases, but fortunately no other large outbreaks the rest of the year.
Could that happen this year?
Let’s hope so.
Let’s hope that having the second highest number of measles cases in January since 1991 ends up being the only record we set this year.
More on Measles Season
- VAXOPEDIA – What to Do If Your Child Is Exposed to Measles
- VAXOPEDIA – News on the Latest Measles Outbreaks of 2019
- VAXOPEDIA – How Many People Get Measles Each Year?
- VAXOPEDIA – Where Is Measles on the Rise?
- VAXOPEDIA – Measles Vaccines vs Measles Strains
- VAXOPEDIA – How Contagious Is Measles?
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Do We Only Worry About Measles?
- VAXOPEDIA – The Myth That Measles Isn’t Deadly
- VAXOPEDIA – Can MMR Shedding Start a Measles Outbreak?
- VAXOPEDIA – Who Dies with Measles?
- VAXOPEDIA – Does Having Measles Protect You from Cancer?
- VAXOPEDIA – A History of Measles Outbreaks in United States
- VAXOPEDIA – Fun and Games with Measles?
- VAXOPEDIA – Measles Deaths in the 21st Century
- VAXOPEDIA – About Those Measles Outbreaks in China
- VAXOPEDIA – When Was the Last Measles Death in the United States?
- VAXOPEDIA – Costs of a Measles Outbreak
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Are Anti-Vaccine Folks Panicking over the Measles Outbreaks?
- VAXOPEDIA – Dr. Baker Says to Stop Worrying About Measles!
- VAXOPEDIA – What Are Anti-Vaccine Folks Saying About the Measles Outbreaks?
- CDC – Measles Cases and Outbreaks
- CDC – National Notifiable Infectious Diseases: Weekly Tables
- CDC – National Notifiable Infectious Diseases and Conditions: United States Data Tables
- MMWR – Measles Outbreak — California, December 2014–February 2015
- Measles – Timeline | History of Vaccine
- Ask the Experts about MMR