Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states

Measles outbreak spreads to 24 states
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The number of measles cases in the United States climbed again this week, bringing the number to 880 cases across 24 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The number is up by 41 cases since last week, and it has now spread to a 24th state, Oklahoma. The rate of new cases across the country has slowed in the past week.

The person with the measles in Oklahoma caught the disease after traveling internationally. Oklahoma public health officials are working to identify anybody who came into contact while the person was contagious. There is no information if the person had been vaccinated.

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The total number of cases is inching closer to the record 963 cases reported across the U.S. in 1994. The current outbreak is still the largest since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.

The majority of measles cases are still concentrated in New York, where two outbreaks have been raging in Rockland County as well as in Brooklyn and Queens. Most of these cases have involved members of the Orthodox Jewish community.

As of May 17, there have been 231 confirmed reported cases of measles in Rockland County. As of May 13, there have been 498 confirmed cases of measles in Brooklyn and Queens, the CDC said.

The majority of people who have been infected with measles were unvaccinated, the CDC said. The disease was declared officially eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but outbreaks have happened since, often when someone catches the disease after traveling abroad and spreads it among unvaccinated communities after returning.