US reports 60 new measles cases in worst outbreak since 1994

US reports 60 new measles cases in worst outbreak since 1994

As of May 1, 40 confirmed measles cases have been reported in California, according to the state's Department of Public Health.

The highest number of cases were reported in NY, where there was an outbreak in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.

Three out of four Americans believe children should be vaccinated against measles even if their parents object, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found, showing little sympathy for the anti-vaccination movement that US officials blame for the ongoing outbreak.

"Those numbers are not really as high as they should be", said Dr. Jennifer Lighter, an epidemiologist at NYU Langone Health hospital in NY.

Topping the list was Italy, with 2,498 reported cases.

Measles was once common but gradually became rare after a vaccination campaigns that started in the 1960s. His comments were in reference to misinformation about the measles, mumps and rubella or MMR vaccine, which is recommended to prevent the disease. In 2000, federal health officials had declared measles, like polio, a thing of the past, thanks to vaccinations.

The MMR vaccine, which is considered extremely safe, is approximately 97 percent effective at preventing measles after two doses, according to the CDC. "Sadly, these communities are being targeted with inaccurate and misleading information about vaccines", Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said last week on a CDC call.

"One tool is quarantine which typically means limiting exposure", she said, explaining that a person is released from quarantine once they show proof of immunity to measles.

Measles is a virus that causes fever and a rash. The report concluded that the rise is due to 20 million children a year missing the first dose of the measles vaccine. And, infants ages 6 to 11 months should also receive a dose of a measles vaccine before traveling internationally, since various countries are reporting extensive measles outbreaks'.

Germany's health minister has proposed a fine of up to $2,800 for parents who refuse to immunize their school-age children against measles after a resurgence of the disease. Those born before 1957 are assumed to have had measles and are therefore immune and don't need to be vaccinated.

Measles is highly contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing. "Vaccination is our best tool", Messonnier said.



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