The United States’ worst measles outbreak in a quarter-century spread to Idaho and Virginia last week as public health authorities on Monday reported 41 new cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease.
The U.S. has recorded 1,022 cases of the diseases this year as of June 6, in an outbreak blamed on misinformation about vaccines, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Federal health officials attribute this year’s outbreak to U.S. parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. These parents believe, contrary to scientific evidence, that ingredients in the vaccine can cause autism.
Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, meaning there was no continuous transmission of the disease for a year. Still, cases of the virus occur and spread via travelers coming from countries where measles is common.
CDC officials have warned that the country risks losing its measles elimination status if the ongoing outbreak, which began in October 2018 in New York, continues until October 2019.(Reuters)