More than 300 measles cases have been reported in 15 states through March 21, 2019, according to preliminary numbers released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far, the CDC says there have been 314 measles cases in the U.S. in 2019, which is already higher than the total number of cases reported in seven of the last nine years. In 2018, there were a total of 372 measles cases reported in the U.S., according to the CDC’s preliminary statistics.
“Anyone who is unvaccinated is at risk for measles and puts other unvaccinated people, both in and outside their community, at risk of contracting this dreaded disease,” the CDC said.
The 15 states that have reported cases to the CDC in 2019 are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.
In Arizona, the Department of Health Services has confirmed one measles case in 2019. According to the DHS, a 12-month-old infant was diagnosed with measles in Pima County.
The DHS said the child traveled internationally along with family to an area with active measles and the child became sick. DHS officials working to identify places the child visited said so far it appears the child only visited healthcare facilities. The DHS said patients at those facilities at the same time have been notified.
Separately, the CDC is tracking six measles outbreaks across the country. In Rockland County, New York — one of the jurisdictions where the CDC is tracking an outbreak — officials declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, which bars anyone who is under the age of 18 and unvaccinated from public places.
The other locations where the CDC is tracking outbreaks include:
New York City
The CDC says the majority of people who get measles are unvaccinated and the disease can spread when it reaches a community where groups of people haven’t received the MMR vaccine.
To explain just how contagious measles is, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services writes that if someone has the disease, 90 percent of people around that person who are not immune will become infected.
The CDC says more measles cases can occur if there’s an increase in the number of travelers who have measles that travel to the U.S. or if the disease spreads within pockets of unvaccinated communities.