Worldwide measles cases triple in 2019

Doctor holds vaccine

Global measles cases are rising for the third year in a row, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, reporting that recorded cases between January and March were 300 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

A measles-infected Hasidic man traveled from Brooklyn to MI, unknowingly becoming Patient Zero in the Midwest by spreading the disease to 39 people before frantic health officials tracked him down, a report said Tuesday. This follows consecutive increases over the past two years.

Measles is surging. Last week the USA recorded 90 cases, making this year's outbreak the second largest in more than two decades.

The agency noted that only about one in 10 actual measles cases are reported, meaning the early trends for 2019 likely underestimate the severity of the outbreaks. This is the greatest number of imported cases since measles was eliminated from the U.S.in 2000.

A spike in case numbers was, in addition, reported for countries including the United States and Thailand with high levels of vaccination coverage.

Measles is a very infectious viral illness that spreads easily from person to person. Numerous cases in the U.S.in 2014 were associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, which experienced a large measles outbreak.

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The New York City Health Department has closed a child care program amid the city's measles outbreak in Orthodox Jewish communities.

All told, there are now 20 states where outbreaks have been confirmed, bringing the case total to 555 cases as of April 11, the CDC reports.

-The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated. The measles vaccine is included in the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine, which has become a target of people who believe it is unnatural or unsafe, contrary to widely accepted science. It has not mutated to become more infectious or more unsafe.

"Current outbreaks include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine, causing many deaths - mostly among young children", the United Nations body said in its report published on Monday. In 2014, the United States had 667 reported cases. Since September, the outbreak has killed mostly children under 15, the Independent reported.

(JTA) - The number of people who have contracted measles in the Detroit area because of contact with a haredi Orthodox traveler has more than doubled in the past three weeks to 39.

Venezuela, where the disease was once contained, has also seen tens of thousands of cases as the country's economic and political crises continue to push the healthcare system to the brink of collapse.

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