At least 228 measles cases have been reported in the US this year, CDC says

Posted at 9:13 AM, Mar 12, 2019

At least 228 cases of measles have been reported since January 1 in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's 22 more cases than reported last week by the agency.

The number of cases is inching closer to the 372 cases in all of 2018, which was the second highest annual total for cases of the disease in more than two decades.

New Hampshire joins 11 other states on the list of those reporting cases this year, with one patient as of March 1.

The other states are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

The latest update on measles cases nationwide includes illnesses reported by state health departments to the CDC through March 7 and does not include cases reported since then. The agency updates the number of measles cases weekly.

As of Sunday, the number of cases linked to the ongoing Washington state outbreak remained at 75, the same tally as last week. That includes people in Washington, Oregon, Hawaii and Georgia who all became infected in Washington. (Hawaii is not included in the CDC list of states reporting cases because the cases there were reported by Washington officials.)

In addition to the four cases Oregon is reporting as linked to the Washington outbreak, state officials report two cases not linked to that outbreak.

An outbreak in New York, which began in October when an unvaccinated resident became infected while visiting Israel and returned home with the disease, has reported 11 new cases in a Brooklyn community as of March 5. That outbreak, in observant Jewish neighborhoods, is also affecting communities in Rockland and Orange counties . Since the outbreak began, more than 250 cases have been reported, the largest outbreak the state has faced in decades.

Texas has seen at least 11 cases of measles this year as of March 8; Colorado has reported one case as of February 27; Illinois has reported five cases this year; Connecticut has reported two cases; Georgia reported three cases in January; Kentucky reported one case on February 15; and as of March 8, New Jersey health officials reported four confirmed cases this year.

Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable respiratory illness characterized by a rash of flat, red spots. Symptoms may include fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes. The disease was eliminated in the US in 2000 but is endemic in many other countries, which is how the current outbreaks started.

In 2018, 82 cases of measles were imported into the US from other countries, which is the highest number of imported cases since the illness was eliminated, according to the CDC .