The year 2019 isn’t even halfway over yet, and it’s already the worst year for measles since NBC stopped airing episodes of Saved By The Bell. Since January 1, the rash- and fever-causing virus has sickened 880 people across 24 states. That’s more than all the cases of the past three years combined. The epicenter for this year’s spike is two outbreaks in New York State—in Brooklyn and Rockland County—that public health officials have been struggling to curb since last fall. And the longer the virus continues to circulate in these communities, and spread to new ones, the more likely it is the US will be plunged back into a time when measles hotspots persist as a constant daily presence. “Of the more than 3,400 cases of measles reported in the US from 2001 to 2019, one third have occurred in the past 18 months,” Adria Lee, a measles epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on a call with physicians and reporters Tuesday. She added that 94 percent of the cases reported so far in 2019 have been acquired in the US, not imported from abroad. “The ongoing outbreaks in close-knit communities and increased global measles… Read full this story
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