Measles Cases Surge Across 17 US States, Prompting Alarm Among Health Authorities

Visual Representation for test against measles
Visual Representation for test against measles

United States: The cases linked to measles have been witnessing an increase and has now reached up to around 60 confirmed or suspected cases in the year 2024. The cases have been reported in 17 US states. The health authorities and experts have sounded alarm after the number of cases surpassed the number of cases reported in 2023.

The health experts have mentioned that the nation has been reporting multiple major outbreaks of the contagious virus. With increasing cases, the health authorities have appealed to the public to stay vaccinated to attain protection against measles.

While emphasizing the importance of vaccination against the disease, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Repiratory Disease – Dr Demtre Daskalakis stated, “This is why it’s urgent for us to sort of address vaccination so that we can really decelerate sort of the march of measles, given the global scenario as well as what we’re seeing with some vaccination rates in the country,” the report by CBS News mentioned.

During the week ending on March 16, the CDC added four (4) new counties, including Arizona, California, Illinois, and Ohio.

Daskalakis further briefed the public about infection and mentioned, “Measles is a easily preventable disease with a readily available and safe vaccine. And so, as we are seeing more cases in the US, we have the technology and the ability to be able to prevent measles.”

States with a higher number of measles cases in 2024!

A tally of 17 states—Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington—has documented at least one occurrence, according to the report shared by the health agencies.

Of late, Illinois has emerged as the epicenter of measles incidents, accounting for a sum of 12 recorded infections within Chicago. Among these, ten individuals hailed from a migrant refuge. A city health department representative clarified that two cases remain unrelated to the refuge’s outbreak.

In response, the CDC dispatched a task force to Chicago on March 12, collaborating with local authorities to delve into and mitigate the virus’s propagation, alongside fortifying the city’s immunization initiative.

Daskalakis extolled the Chicago contingent for their swift reaction to the predicament. Chicago stands as the inaugural city to solicit CDC intervention in addressing the measles surge this year.

He anticipates that the CDC will amass insights from Chicago’s handling of the crisis, fostering assistance for other municipalities. Drawing from his tenure as a senior health official during past calamitous outbreaks in New York City, he foresees a beneficial transfer of knowledge.

While addressing the concern, Daskalakis stated, “I could see the lessons from the New York experience being built into this response. So the answer is yes, we always iterate, and I’m sure we’ll learn some things from Chicago that will be valuable in other settings as well,” according to CBS News.

Why are measles cases on the rise in 2024?

Health experts have blamed low vaccination rates across the nation for bringing the infection back to the United States. According to various health authorities, the major reason behind the sudden surge in infection is increasing vaccination hesitancy, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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