May 25, 2019 | Updated: 10:06 PM EDT

Measles outbreak in US, 228 cases have been reported

Mar 13, 2019 01:58 PM EDT

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CDC or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 228 cases of measles in 12 states across America. In 2018, there were 372 cases and it was considered as the second highest annual total for cases of the disease in more than two decades. This year, it is inching closer to last year's number.

The state of New Hampshire joins 11 other states that are on the list of reported cases this year, with one patient that was diagnosed as of March 1. The other states on the list are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

The latest update on the cases of the disease nationwide includes illnesses that were reported by state health departments to the CDC through March 7 and it does not include those cases that were reported since then. The number of cases is updated weekly.

As of March 10, the number of cases that are linked to the ongoing Washington state outbreak remained at 75, which is the same number as last week. That includes those in Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, and Georgia who all become infected in Washington although Hawaii is not included in the list of states from CDC because the cases there were reported by Washington officials.

The outbreak in New York began in October when an unvaccinated resident became infected while visiting Israel and returned home with measles, has reported 11 new cases in Brooklyn as of March 5. That outbreak is also affecting communities in Orange counties and Rockland. Since the outbreak started, more than 250 cases have been reported, and it is the largest outbreak the state has faced in years.

The state of Texas has 11 cases of measles this year as of March 8; Colorado has one case reported as of February 27; Illinois has reported five cases; Connecticut has reported two cases; Georgia has reported three cases; Kentucky has reported one case on February 15; and New Jersey has reported four confirmed cases this year as of March 8.

Measles is a contagious respiratory illness that is vaccine-preventable. It is characterized by a rash of red, flat spots. The symptoms include cough, fever, watery eyes and runny nose. The disease was eliminated in the United States in 2000 but it is endemic in other countries, which is how the current outbreaks started.

Last year, there were 82 cases of measles that were imported into the United States from other countries, which is the highest number of imported cases since the illness was elminated, according to the CDC. 

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