Some 539 US measles cases were reported between January 1 and June 27, making 2014’s case total the country’s highest since elimination was documented in 2000. This year’s cases also represent the highest number during the first 5 months of the year since 1994. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has emphasized that clinicians need a heightened awareness of measles in their communities and the importance of vaccination.
Measles cases were reported in 20 states throughout the country, including Hawaii, according to the CDC. Seventeen outbreaks that have occurred represent 88% of cases reported in the first 6 months of this year. The majority of US residents who have contracted measles haven’t been vaccinated. In Ohio, for example, an outbreak involving at least 138 cases occurred in unvaccinated Amish communities (Gastañaduy PA et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63:496-499).
Measles Cases Reach Highest Level Since US Elimination in 2000. JAMA. 2014;312(5):478. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.9013