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Measles in the United States (Update)

17 Mar 2015

The measles outbreak in the United States (US) is ongoing; between 1 Janurary-13 March 2015, a total of 176 cases have been reported from 17 states and the District of Columbia. Four separate outbreaks are affecting the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

The majority of cases (130) are related to the multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California that began in December 2014. Most of the cases reported in the US are in unvaccinated individuals.

During 2014, the US reported a record number of measles cases following measles elimination in 2000. A total of 644 cases were reported from 27 states of the country.

Advice for Travellers

It should be confirmed that children have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-15 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months, while unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk. Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.