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Measles Cases and Outbreaks

Español: Casos y brotes de sarampión

Measles Cases

From January 1 to September 18, 2015, 189 people from 24 states and the District of Columbia were reported to have measles (AK, AZ, CA, CO, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, MA, MI, MN, MO, NE, NJ, NY, NV, OH, OK, PA, SD TX, UT, VA, WA). Most of these cases [117 cases (62%)] were part of a large multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

2015 measles cases in the U.S., January 1 to September 18, 2015. Map of the U.S. indicates in shades of light to dark blue the number of cases. Eighteen states (Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Virginia) and the District of Columbia have 1 to 4 cases. Four states (Arizona, Florida, New York, and Nevada) have 5 to 9 cases. Two states (Illinois and Washington) have 10 to 19 cases and one state (California) has 20 or more cases. These are provisional data reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 668 cases from 27 states reported to CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

Measles cases and outbreaks. January 1 to September 18, 2015. 189 cases reported in 24 states and District of Columbia: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. 5 outbreaks representing 80% of reported cases this year.

  • The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa.
  • Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

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Measles Outbreaks

Outbreaks in countries to which Americans often travel can directly contribute to an increase in measles cases in the U.S.

Reasons for an increase in cases some years:

  • 2015: The United States experienced a large, multi-state measles outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. The outbreak likely started from a traveler who became infected overseas with measles, then visited the amusement park while infectious; however, no source was identified. Analysis by CDC scientists showed that the measles virus type in this outbreak (B3) was identical to the virus type that caused the large measles outbreak in the Philippines in 2014.
  • 2014: The U.S. experienced 23 measles outbreaks in 2014, including one large outbreak of 383 cases, occurring primarily among unvaccinated Amish communities in Ohio. Many of the cases in the U.S. in 2014 were associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, which experienced a large measles outbreak. For more information see the Measles in the Philippines Travelers' Health Notice.
  • 2013: The U.S. experienced 11 outbreaks in 2013, three of which had more than 20 cases, including an outbreak with 58 cases. For more information see Measles — United States, January 1-August 24, 2013.
  • 2011: In 2011, more than 30 countries in the WHO European Region reported an increase in measles, and France was experiencing a large outbreak. Most of the cases that were brought to the U.S. in 2011 came from France. For more information see Measles — United States, January-May 20, 2011.
  • 2008: The increase in cases in 2008 was the result of spread in communities with groups of unvaccinated people. The U.S. experienced several outbreaks in 2008 including three large outbreaks. For more information see Update: Measles — United States, January–July 2008.

See also: The Surveillance Manual chapter on measles that describes case investigation, outbreak investigation, and outbreak control for additional information.



MMWR: 2015 Outbreaks


MMWR: 2014 Outbreaks


MMWR: 2013 Outbreaks

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