90 new measles cases reported as outbreak nears record

The number of measles cases in the United States continues to soar, putting the country on track to have its worst year since the disease was officially eliminated in 2000.

As of April 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there have been 555 confirmed cases of measles across 20 states, an increase of 90 cases from the previous week. No fatalities have been reported.

This is the second greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000, the agency said, and the year isn’t even half over. The worst year for measles since then was 2014, when there were 667 cases.

Last week, the CDC confirmed 465 cases across 19 states, which was more than there were in all of 2018.

The states that have reported cases to the CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

The outbreaks are linked to unvaccinated travelers returning to the U.S. from countries where large measles outbreaks are occurring, such as Israel and Ukraine.

As of April 8, New York City has confirmed 285 measles cases in Brooklyn and Queens since the outbreak began in October. Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community.

The outbreak prompted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and public health officials to declare a public health emergency, and mandate that families get children get vaccinated against measles or pay a $1,000 fine.