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Measles outbreak slows: Health officials record just 14 new cases this week

Measles outbreak slows: Health officials record just 14 new cases this week – sparking hopes that the epidemic could be nipped in the bud

  • If the caseload keeps growing until October 2019, the US will officially be one of the only developed nations with ‘active’ measles
  • But officials are quietly hopeful that won’t be the case
  • The new CDC data, released today, shows just 14 new cases in the past week – fewer than we’ve seen in the last 10 months 

The measles outbreak that has swept the United States appears to be slowing, health officials declared on Monday. 

Just 14 new cases were recorded nationwide in the last week, and no new states reported cases. 

That is far fewer than previous months, when the caseload was climbing by at least a few dozen – if not over 100 – every week. 

If the outbreak continues for over a year (i.e. past October 2019), the US will officially become one of the few developed nations with active measles.

But after Monday’s report, officials are quietly hopeful that it may have been nipped in the bud. 

Officials are quietly hopeful that the measles outbreak may have been nipped in the bud

Since the outbreak started in October 2018, 1,109 people have contracted the infectious, often deadly disease – the largest caseload since 1992.

It was the biggest resurgence of measles since the virus was declared eliminated in 2000, brought over, most likely, by unvaccinated tourists from Ukraine and Israel, where there have been large measles outbreaks.  

As of this week, 28 states have active measles, but all states are reviewing their vaccine policies. 

New York City, the hardest-hit by the outbreak, imposed a rule of mandatory vaccinations on its Orthodox Jewish community in April, just before Passover, in a bid to curb the spread of infections. 

The city’s Health Department was aggressive in its enforcement of the order, shuttering schools that could not prove all kids were vaccinated, and issuing summonses to families whose children had not got their shots. 

Hundreds of children were vaccinated in just a few weeks. 

The measures appeared to have little effect in the first couple of months, but officials are taking the recent slowdown as a sign that the outbreak is now somewhat under control.