HealthDay News — There have been at least 314 reported cases of measles in the United States so far this year, according to new government data.
That number is 46 more than last week and includes cases reported by state health departments to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through March 21, CNN reported Monday. The number of cases so far this year is just 58 fewer than the 372 cases reported nationwide for all of last year. That amount was the second-highest number in two decades. The CDC said that the number of states with reported measles cases is the same as last week, 15: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
Meanwhile, in an effort to combat New York state’s largest measles outbreak in decades, Rockland County will declare a state of emergency and ban minors who are not vaccinated against the contagious disease from public places. The declaration in the suburb of New York City takes effect at midnight Tuesday and expires in 30 days, The New York Times reported. Rockland County, with a population of more than 300,000 people, has had 153 confirmed measles cases since October 2018, according to county spokesman John Lyon. Of those, 48 have occurred in 2019.
The measles outbreak in New York state began last fall and has so far mostly affected ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Rockland County and New York City, where vaccination rates tend to be lower and antivaccination misinformation is more widespread, public health officials have said, The Times reported. In December, Rockland County barred unvaccinated children from schools with low vaccination rates. In New York City, health officials have issued an emergency health measure ordering schools in certain ZIP codes to bar unvaccinated students from attending classes, The Times reported.