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Measles, United States -- Weeks 1-4, 1982

In the 4-week period January 3-30, 1982 (reporting weeks 1-4), 36 cases of measles were reported to CDC--an average of 9 cases per week. This total is 71.4% below the 126 cases reported in the same period in 1981. It is also a record low for any 4-week period in any reporting year. Only 0.6% (18) of the nation's 3,144 counties reported any measles to CDC in this period (Figure 2).

Of the 36 measles cases reported, 4 were imported, each from a different country: Australia, Canada, England, and Jamaica. The imported cases were reported to have occurred in Hawaii, New York City (2), and Vermont. Three of the importations involved U.S. citizens, and 1 involved a foreign citizen.

An additional 9 of the 36 reported measles cases occurred following transmission from imported cases. Thus, all cases in 6 of the 10 states reporting measles during this period were either imported measles cases or secondary to imported measles cases: Hawaii, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. In 4 of these states, the cases were part of a multi-state outbreak of measles resulting from an earlier importation from El Salvador (1-2). Reported by Immunization Div, Center for Prevention Svcs, CDC.

Editorial Note

Editorial Note: The 36 measles cases reported in the first 4 weeks of 1982 represent a 99.9% reduction from the 31,411 cases reported in the same period in 1962, the year preceding measles-vaccine licensure. Moreover, the total is a record low for any 4-week period since 1925, when communicable disease reporting on a regular weekly basis was instituted in all states. Importations played a major part in measles activity during this 4-week period, since more than one-third (13/36, 36.1%) of the cases were either importations or resulted from importations. During this period, 99.4% of the nation's counties reported no measles, suggesting that measles transmission has been interrupted in these areas.


  1. CDC. Measles, United States--Weeks 45-48, 1981. MMWR 1981;30:621-2.

  2. CDC. Measles, United States--Weeks 49-52, 1981. MMWR 1982;31:16-7.

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