So far in 2019, nearly 800 cases of measles have been reported. Those numbers account for just 23 states. That’s the highest number in 20 years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that of the 764 cases this year children under four years of age as well as people who were never vaccinated have been the most effected.
Measles spread especially quickly. So communities with a low vaccination rate are doubly at risk. Once the infection gets going, even those who have been vaccinated can be infected through coughing and sneezing. Over 10 percent of this year’s cases of measles were vaccinated individuals.
Doses of vaccination has been high successful in preventing measles. According to a report in the Washington Post, one dose is 93 percent effective. Two doses, 97 percent. Most children receive the first of two doses around their first birthday (12 months).
Naturally, traveling is a major culprit of the recent measles outbreak. In one case, a minor took measles to Brooklyn after traveling back from Israel. The infection would soon make its way to Michigan. In another instance, California was hit with measles from Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines.
In 2000, measles was in fact believed to be eliminated. This after millions of cases every years were reduced to a rapid decline after the vaccine introduction in 1963.
There are 17 states in which parents can choose not to vaccinate their kids. All 50 states are required to have certain medical exemption laws and nearly every state has religious or philosophical exemptions.
In May, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law that parents in Washington state cannot any longer claim objection to measles, mumps or rubella vaccine due to a personal or philosophical exemption.