U.S. marks largest number of major measles outbreak in 27 years


Illustration by Ava Buccino

By Ava DiGiacomo, Senior Chief News Editor

The greatest number of measles outbreaks since 1992 has been recorded in The United States, resulting in the country at risk of losing its World Health Organization designation as a country that has eliminated measles.

95 percent of vaccinated people is the optimum rate for protecting a population, however The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the vaccination rate for measles, mumps and rubella in kindergarteners has slipped nationally in kindergartners to 94.3 percent. 

From Jan. 1 through Sept. 19, 1,241 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 31 states. More than 75 percent of the cases this year are linked to outbreaks in New York.

Measles can cause many different health related issues. 131 of the people who got measles this year were hospitalized, and 65 reported having complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis. All cases this year have been caused by measles wild-type D8 or B3.

The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated. The World Health Organization listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top threats to global health. As of 2019, many parents have been gravitating towards not vaccinating their children.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn parents vaccinating their children is important for protecting the population. They explain that one in one million doses is the estimated ratio for how often a serious allergic reaction occurs due to a vaccine.