Apr 16, 2019 07:25 PM EDT
USA -- Experts in the US are warning people should expect more outbreaks as such in the coming years. The spread of misinformation mostly by anti-vaccination activists makes it possible for more people to get infected with deadly diseases such as measles.
The outbreak of this highly contagious disease has already spread in roughly 20 states. It is now considered an active spread by the health experts in the US. This year alone, there are 555 confirmed measles cases according to the report by the CDC. Authorities think that it won't be impossible for this year's record to break the one in 2014 where there were 667 reported cases, the highest number ever recorded in US history since it was declared completely eradicated in 2000.
All of the new infections that are not affecting residents of the US have been transmitted by travelers into the country. It is either the visitors from other countries brought the infection with them or residents of the United States traveling abroad has brought it back with them. "Every new case of measles has now been associated with travel," said Thomas Clark, the deputy director of the CDC viral disease division.
The measle cases across continents are growing in number too. In fact, they are foreseeing that there might be a 300% increase in the global cases of measles compared to last year. "We are likely to see more cases of it here," he added.
"It is unfortunate to know but this may be the new normal," said John Brownstein. He is an epidemiologist from Harvard Medical School. The booming support for anti-vaccine movements in the US are making it even more challenging to control the spread of such disease.
On Monday, the World Health Organization released a report that says 170 countries all over the world have confirmed cases of measles reaching a great number of 112,000 cases recorded in 2019. This number, they say, may just be an estimate as they believe there is 1 out of 10 cases that is not reported to authorities. Severe outbreaks have been recorded in several countries including Madagascar, Ukraine and the Philippines to name a few. "The death toll is rising and the victims are mostly children," according to the reports of the agency.
Sadly, such outbreaks read the countries with a good overall record of patients that have been vaccinated like Thailand, Israel, and the US.
"What we are seeing now is that the undervaccinated areas in the US are growing and it is causing the fast spread of infection," said Peter Hotez, an infectious disease expert from Baylor College of Medicine."
Measles is preventable through vaccination. The transmission of this disease can be stopped.
"Convincing people to get vaccinated may take a lot of hard work, but it will mean saving a lot of lives too," he added.
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