According to the Centers for Disease Control, before the vaccine was licensed in the early 1960s, the USA would see an average around 500,000 cases of measles every year.
"In a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons: an increase in the number of travelers who get measles overseas and bring it into the USA and/or further spread of measles in US communities with pockets of unvaccinated people", the CDC website says.
The outbreak in Clark County, Washington, involves 49 confirmed cases of measles and nine suspected cases, according to local public health officials. Yale-New Haven Hospital is treating the two infected patients. At least 44 people in Washington and OR have fallen ill in recent weeks with the extraordinarily contagious virus, which was eradicated in the U.S.in 2000 as a result of immunization but arrives periodically with overseas travelers.
Some parents refuse to have their children vaccinated due to religious or philosophical reasons or they might have heard from others about someone who became violently ill after being vaccinated.
So far this year, Washington state is averaging more than one new measles case a day as officials try to help stop the disease's spread. One patient had received one dose of the MMR vaccine. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws that require children entering child care or public schools to have certain vaccinations against communicable diseases. "The recommended two doses of the measles vaccine provide even greater protection - 97 percent". About 1 child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis - swelling of the brain - that can lead to convulsions, deafness or intellectual disability.
At least eight other states have reported measles cases this year. Surveillance Report of the Department's Epidemiology Bureau, majority of the cases of measles nationwide are of children ages 1-4 years who were not vaccinated. In total, at least 79 cases have been reported across the country in 2019.
"More than 240 million doses of measles vaccine were given in the USA from 1963 through 1993", explained Dr.
Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, more than three million people got measles each year in the United States - of those, more than 400 died.
Known as the MMR or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, the vaccine is very effective, the CDC says.
The Georgia Department of Public Health has said all three people are part of the same family and no other cases have been found outside of that family. Complications are more common in young children and adults.