Authorities have warned that the United States could lose its measles elimination status if the current rise in measles cases continues.
New data published by the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) show that 971 cases of measles were reported in the US for the first five months of the year. The figure represents the greatest number of cases reported in the US since 1994, when 963 cases were reported for the entire year.
In a statement, CDC Director Dr Robert Redfield highlighted how outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, New York have continued for nearly eight months. “If these outbreaks continue through summer and fall, the United States may lose its measles elimination status. That loss would be a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health,” he said.
Last week, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also warned that measles represents a "serious cross-border threat" in the European Union/European Economic Area. Even though most Member States are deemed to have interrupted endemic transmission, the ECDC said re-establishment of transmission in these states is possible.