Measles count in the US this year is already more than all year 2018



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NEW YORK (AP) – The number of measles cases in the US during the first three months of this year has surpassed the count for all 2018, health officials said.

There were 387 cases by March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was 372 last year.

The numbers are preliminary and may change. But the 2019 count is already the highest since 2014, when 667 were reported.

This year's numbers were boosted by outbreaks in several states, including New York, California, Illinois, Texas and Washington.

Most people who get measles have not been vaccinated. In the United States, most outbreaks are triggered by travelers who have caught the virus in countries where measles is most common. Nearly 83,000 people contracted measles in Europe in 2018, the highest number in a decade, according to the World Health Organization.

The measles vaccine is 97% effective, according to the CDC.

Measles is transmitted through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes and is extremely contagious.

For most people, measles is miserable, but does not threaten life. The most common symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and rash all over the body. However, a very small fraction of people get much sicker and can suffer complications like pneumonia and swelling of the brain. In addition, measles can cause premature pregnant women.

There have been three measles-related deaths recorded in the US since 2000, including two in 2003 and one in 2015.

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