A sign warns people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg on April 10, 2019 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Health officials confirmed another 41 measles cases last week, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, bringing the total for 2019 to 880, already the worst year for the disease since 1994.
The CDC said so has now confirmed measles in 24 states this year. While the total continues to rise, the pace seems to be slowing down ̵
Thirty of the 41 new cases were reported in New York, where health officials have fought against two major outbreaks since the fall. 21 new cases were reported in New York City. In nearby Rockland County, nine new cases were reported, according to the CDC.
Health officials blame the increasing number of cases on an increasing number of parents who refuse to do so – after claiming in 2000 that the disease had been eliminated from the US vaccinating their children.
Measles are highly contagious but preventable with a vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. More and more parents refuse to vaccinate their children, sometimes due to false information that vaccines cause autism.
The disease spreads quickly and easily among people who have not been vaccinated, leaving behind communities with high rates of people who are not particularly vulnerable.
Measles start with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. It then comes to a rash. Some people develop severe complications such as pneumonia or brain swelling. According to the CDC, complications are more common in children under the age of 5 years and adults over the age of 20 years.
The disease is still prevalent in other countries. Unvaccinated people can pick up the disease while traveling and return it to the US, where it can be transferred to other unvaccinated people.