Measles Cases and Outbreaks
Measles Cases in 2018
In 2018, 349** individual cases of measles were confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia. This is the second-greatest number of annual cases reported since measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. (The greatest was 667 cases reported in 2014).
The states that reported cases to CDC are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
*Cases as of December 30, 2017. Case count is preliminary and subject to change.
**Cases as of December 29, 2018. Case count is preliminary and subject to change. Data are updated monthly.
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Notifiable Diseases and Mortality Tables
Measles Outbreaks in 2018
Three ongoing outbreaks in the following jurisdictions, respectively, contributed to measles cases in 2018:
These outbreaks are associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring. Traveling to Israel or Ukraine, where another large outbreak is occurring? Make sure you are vaccinated against measles before departure.
Spread of Measles
- 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.
A total of 17 outbreaks (defined as 3 or more linked cases) were reported in 2018.
In a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons:
- an increase in the number of travelers who get measles abroad and bring it into the U.S., and/or
- further spread of measles in U.S. communities with pockets of unvaccinated people.
Reasons for an increase in cases some years:
- 2018: Three outbreaks in New York State, New York City, and New Jersey, respectively, contributed to measles cases in 2018. Cases occurred primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities. These outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring. Eighty-one people brought measles to the U.S. from other countries in 2018. This is the greatest number of imported cases since measles was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000.
- 2017: A 75-case outbreak was reported in Minnesota in a Somali-American community with poor vaccination coverage.
- 2015: The United States experienced a large (147 cases), 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.
- 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. These led to a large number of importations (80) that year. 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: 2017 Outbreaks
Measles Outbreak — Minnesota April–May 2017
MMWR. July 14, 2017
In a community with previously high vaccination coverage, concerns about autism, the perceived increased rates of autism in the Somali-American community…
MMWR: 2016 Outbreaks
Notes from the Field: Measles Outbreak at a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Facility — Arizona, May–June 2016
MMWR. May 26, 2017
On May 25, 2016, a detainee at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Arizona who had been hospitalized with fever and a generalized maculopapular rash…
Measles Outbreak of Unknown Source — Shelby County, Tennessee, April–May 2016
MMWR. September 30, 2016
On April 15, 2016, local public health officials in Shelby County, Tennessee, were notified of a positive measles immunoglobulin M (IgM) test for a male aged 18 months…
MMWR: 2015 Outbreaks
Measles — United States, January 4–April 2, 2015
MMWR. April 17, 2015
From January 1 through April 2, 2015, a total of 159 measles cases have been reported to CDC….
Measles Outbreak — California, December 2014–February 2015
MMWR. Feb 20, 2015
As of February 11, a total of 125 measles cases had been confirmed among U.S. residents in an ongoing measles outbreak linked to two Disney theme parks in Orange County, California…
MMWR: 2014 Outbreaks
Measles Outbreak in an Unvaccinated Family and a Possibly Associated International Traveler — Orange County, Florida, December 2012–January 2013
MMWR. Sep 12, 2014
Four children in a Florida family were diagnosed with measles in January 2013. None of the four were vaccinated against measles, and none had traveled outside of Orange County, Florida, during the periods when they likely had been exposed…
Notes from the Field: Measles in a Micronesian Community — King County, Washington, 2014
MMWR. Sep 12, 2014
This outbreak demonstrates the ease with which measles can be imported from a country with an ongoing outbreak and spread among a local population…
Measles — United States, January 1–May 23, 2014
MMWR May 29, 2014
From January 1 through May 23, 2014, a total of 288 confirmed measles cases have been reported to CDC, surpassing the highest reported yearly total of measles cases since elimination.
Notes from the Field: Measles — California, January 1–April 18, 2014
MMWR. Apr 25, 2014
During January 1-April 18, 2014, 58 confirmed measles cases were reported in California, the highest number reported for that period since 1995.
MMWR: 2013 Outbreaks
Measles — United States, January 1-August 24, 2013
MMWR. Sep 13, 2013
During the first 8 months of 2013, 159 people in the United States were reported to have measles.
Notes from the field: Measles outbreak among members of a religious community — Brooklyn, New York, March–June 2013
MMWR. Vol 62, No 36;752-3 09/13/2013
Notes from the field: Measles outbreak associated with a traveler returning from India — North Carolina, April–May 2013
MMWR. Vol 62, No 36;753
- Page last reviewed: February 5, 2018
- Page last updated: January 10, 2019
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