CDC Reports Increase In Measles Cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 118 cases of measles in the first 19 weeks of 2011, the highest number reported for this period since 1996. Forty-seven patients were hospitalized, all but one of whom was unvaccinated. Twenty-three states reported cases, most of which were imported by travelers. The most frequent sources of importation were countries in the European region, especially France, which reported 10,000 cases in the first four months of 2011.

According to CDC, health care providers should suspect measles in patients with a rash and other compatible symptoms who have recently traveled abroad or had contact with travelers. They should isolate and report suspected measles cases immediately to their local health department and obtain specimens for measles testing. As a result of high vaccination coverage, measles elimination was achieved in the U.S. in the late 1990s, but importations will continue as long as measles remains endemic in the rest of the world.

06-03-2011 01:19 (EDT)