Quick action, vaccinations were key to Johnson County containing 2018 measles outbreak

US measles cases still climbing, topping 800 for year

Eighty-two people brought measles to the US from other countries in 2018.

About one or two out of every 1,000 people who get measles will die from the disease, but the illness has not caused a death in the US since 2015, according to the CDC. Up to 90 per cent of people who are exposed will catch the virus if not immunised.

Miami-Dade County is most-at risk in the state, ranking third in the nation. That total is the most since 1994, when 963 were reported for the entire year.

Joining me today is the lead author of the study, Sahotra Sarkar, PhD.

Overall, Texas has three counties in the top 25, with Harris (No. 9) and Tarrant (No. 12) joining Travis.

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Last month, the number of measles cases surpassed the record for highest number of cases since authorities declared person-to-person transmission of the disease eliminated in the U.S.in 2000.

The report was published amidst an alarming measles outbreak.

The CDC said new cases have been confirmed in almost half of all states - Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington. Of those cases, 41 were reported by New York City and 25 were reported by Rockland County.

Sarkar and his co-authors also warned that measles isn't the only disease poised to reappear after eradication. "We have to identify anyone who's been in contact with that particular case, find out their vaccine status". Pertussis - whooping cough - is another disease making a comeback because of dropping vaccination rates, and we predict serious outbreaks in the U.S.in the near future. "Policymakers must focus on centers of vaccination refusal as well as regions with a lot of passenger inflow from affected countries worldwide if there are even small local pockets of unvaccinated people", Sarkar said.

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