NEW YORK (AP/CBS4) — U.S. measles cases have climbed to their highest level in 25 years, largely because misinformation is turning parents against vaccines. New York City health officials on Wednesday reported 61 new cases since late last week. According to an Associated Press count, that pushes this year’s national tally past the 667 cases reported for all of 2014. It makes it the worst year for measles since 1994.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updates its national measles count on Mondays. CDC officials on Wednesday said they are reviewing and validating the latest reports.
Roughly three-quarters of this year’s illnesses have been in New York, mainly in New York City and nearby Rockland County. Most of those cases have been in unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities.
The CDC recommends the vaccine for every American over 1 year old.
Measles symptoms typically begin 7 to 14 days after exposure, but may take up to 21 days to appear. They include:
- Fever, runny nose, red eyes that are sensitive to light and coughing.
- Two to four days after the first symptoms, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
A person with measles is contagious for four days before and four days after the rash appears.
Denver Public Health urges people to review their and their children’s vaccination records against the recommended vaccine schedules to ensure they are up to date on the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Childhood and adult vaccines are covered by most insurance. For no- or low-cost vaccines, people can visit the Denver Public Health immunization clinic.
Additional facts about measles are available on the Denver Public Health website. People with additional questions should call their primary care provider or 303-389-1687 (toll free: 1-877-462-2911).
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)