U.S. records no new measles cases for first week since January

By Gabriella Borter NEW YORK (Reuters) - Health officials recorded no new cases of measles in the United States last week, marking the first week without new cases of the disease since January, amid an outbreak largely linked to parents who declined to vaccinate their children. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday it had recorded 1,241 cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease in 31 states as of last Thursday

Reuters September 17, 2019 02:13:00 IST
U.S. records no new measles cases for first week since January

US records no new measles cases for first week since January

By Gabriella Borter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Health officials recorded no new cases of measles in the United States last week, marking the first week without new cases of the disease since January, amid an outbreak largely linked to parents who declined to vaccinate their children.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday it had recorded 1,241 cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease in 31 states as of last Thursday. (http://bit.ly/2miVZvw)

The current outbreak of measles is the worst to hit the country since 1992, when 2,126 cases were reported, and threatens to end the nation's measles-free status.

The outbreak began in New York on Oct. 1, 2018, but the CDC did not begin publicly reporting weekly new cases for several months. In one week in January, the agency recorded no new cases but did not report that information publicly, according to CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund.

"While this outbreak of a preventable disease illustrates the significant public health threat posed by wilful disregard of the efficacy and science of vaccination, the Department’s pro-vaccine message is clearly resonating," the New York State Department of Health said in a statement.

More than 71,000 doses of MMR vaccines have been administered in the New York counties affected by the outbreak since last October, which is a 70% increase from the previous year, the department said.

The majority of U.S. measles cases this year have occurred in children who had not received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which confers immunity to the disease.

Federal health officials have attributed the outbreak in large part to a vocal fringe of U.S. parents who refuse to vaccinate their children because they believe, contrary to scientific evidence, that ingredients in them can cause autism.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters in April that the current outbreak "is completely avoidable" and the unfortunate result of some people's choice to deny the proven safety of vaccines.

The weekly increase in the number of cases has tapered down over the past few months, dropping to seven new cases two weeks ago. The report of zero new cases last week was the latest indication the outbreak is petering out after dozens of cases were reported per week earlier this year.

An outbreak is typically considered over when there are no new measles cases reported for 42 days, which is double the incubation time for the disease, Nordlund said.

The disease was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, meaning there was no continuous transmission of the disease for a year. Still, cases of the virus occur and spread via travellers coming from countries where measles is common.

CDC officials have warned that the country risks losing its measles elimination status if the outbreak in New York lasts for more than a year.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Peter Cooney)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Airline easyJet's first-half loss widens as COVID-19 hurts travel, seeks cash
Business

Airline easyJet's first-half loss widens as COVID-19 hurts travel, seeks cash

(Reuters) - Budget airline easyJet on Wednesday reported a bigger loss for the first half as it took a 160-million-pound hit ($199 million) from failed fuel hedging as the COVID-19 pandemic brought global air travel to a virtual standstill. The London-listed company reported a pretax loss of 353 million pounds for the six months ended March 31 from a loss of 272 million pounds last year. Revenue rose 1.6%, though easyJet took a hit from strikes in France, and storms Ciara and Dennis.

Bayer settles Roundup cancer lawsuits for up to $10.9 billion
Business

Bayer settles Roundup cancer lawsuits for up to $10.9 billion

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer AG on Wednesday said it agreed to settle U.S.

Sudan to establish trade financing fund in face of forex shortage
Business

Sudan to establish trade financing fund in face of forex shortage

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan will create a trade financing fund with a portfolio of $2 billion to aid the import and export of key commodities such as wheat, the Finance Ministry said, as the supply of foreign currency in circulation dwindles. Sudan's economy is at risk of freefall, hammered by an inflation rate of more than 100% and frequent shortages of bread, fuel and medicine. The country's currency has also fallen to a record low of 150 Sudanese pounds to the dollar on the black market compared with 55 at the official rate