Could Essex County experience a major measles outbreak in the US next?
In the nation's worst measles outbreak in a quarter century, researchers in a new study stated that they had identified the 25 best districts in the US as the most vulnerable to future outbreaks.
Essex County ranked 15th on the list, as the study published last week in the medical journal The Lancet revealed.
University of Texas researchers at Austin and Johns Hopkins University saw factors such as exemption rates for non-medical vaccines, increasing vaccination bans, regions near key international airports, and population density.
The five districts that lead the list are Cook County, Illinois; Los Angeles County, California; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Queens, New York City; and King County, Washington.
Health experts say that it's not surprising that Essex County was put on the list, even though it was not hit as hard by measles as other parts of the state, such as Ocean County, where most of the cases were concentrated.
The county, like the other regions mapped in the study, is a densely populated area and home to the Newark Liberty International Airport, an important hub for international travelers.
"We've always known that the airport," David Cennimo, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said a traveler may have exposed other people to the highly contagious disease earlier this month in mid-April.
Regarding the countries of origin of international travelers, the study found that India, China, Mexico, Japan, Ukraine, the Philippines and Thailand pose the greatest threat to measles. The massive measles outbreak has infected hundreds of people, especially in The researchers confirm that at least 30 of the 45 districts, the measles cases in the year 2 019 have reported to be on the list.
"Our results were correct, predicting areas in Washington, Oregon and New York where measles erupted. Brooklyn, New York, which has reported over 300 cases, is adjacent to Queens, New York, which occupies fourth place, "researchers in the study said.
Time will tell if the hypothesis applies to Essex County.  So far This year, there were 839 cases of measles in 23 US states, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which means that in the US after only five months in 2019, most cases were reported Cases since 1994 and since the eradication of the disease in 2000, the CDC said.
"These high numbers show that the US is still at risk for major measles epidemics recently encountered in Europe," it says in the study, 19659002] Cennimo stressed that since measles continues to affect communities across the country, the best you can do is vaccination, which the researchers said was another major reason for the problem, especially its size and non-medical vaccine exemptions.  9002] Spencer Kent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent . Find NJ.com on Facebook .
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