Today, it was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the number of measles cases nationwide so far in 2019 was 1,001.
"The number of cases are going up, but the numbers [of new cases per week] are varying a lot", Morse said.
Azar also said the agency has been stressing on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, "amid concerning signs that there are pockets of undervaccination around the country".
The 1,000th case of a preventable disease like measles is a troubling reminder of how important that work is to the public health of the nation. Forty of the 44 confirmed measles cases in MI occurred in Oakland County, and infected individuals ranged in age from eight months to 63 years old.
It's unclear whether the 2019 outbreak will reach the mark set in 1992, when there were 2,126 cases of measles reported in the USA, according to historical CDC data.
Most of those cases have been in Orthodox Jewish communities In Brooklyn and Queens with low vaccination rates.
Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that is spread by direct person-to-person contact, and through the air.
- The Oakland County Health Division says the measles outbreak has officially ended in the county. But he emphasized the burden on the healthcare system from measles complications, such as children who may develop pneumonia and need intensive care. A rash that is red, raised, blotchy usually starts on face, spreads to trunk, arms, and legs 3-5 days after symptoms begin.
The cases in the Unites States have been imported from worldwide travel. The best way to end this outbreak is by ensuring that all the children and adults "who can get vaccinated, do get vaccinated".
In his statement, Azar noted that the CDC has implemented an internal management structure to respond to the outbreaks, created toolkits to address vaccine hesitancy, and reached out to rabbinical and other associations with credible vaccine information. According to him, people should talk to their doctor about the type of vaccines that can protect them from measles.
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