Measles Cases and Outbreaks

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Measles Cases in 2019

From January 1 to December 31, 2019, 1,282* individual cases of measles were confirmed in 31 states.

  • This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1992. More than 73% of the cases were linked to recent outbreaks in New York. Measles is more likely to spread and cause outbreaks in U.S. communities where groups of people are unvaccinated.
  • The majority of cases were among people who were not vaccinated against measles.
  • Measles can cause serious complications. From January 1 – December 31, 2019, 128 of the people who got measles were hospitalized, and 61 reported having complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis.

States with Reported Measles

2019 ** (as of December 31, 2019)

The states that have reported cases to CDC were Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.

The states that reported outbreaks were California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York City, New York State, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.

All measles cases were caused by measles wild-type D8 or B3.

Number of Measles Cases Reported by Year

2010-2019**(as of December 31, 2019)

*Reporting for 2019 began December 30, 2018. Case count is preliminary and subject to change.
**Cases as of December 31, 2019. Case count is preliminary and subject to change. Data are updated monthly.

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Make sure you are vaccinated against measles before traveling internationally.

Spread of Measles
  • The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world.
  • 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

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:

The U.S. experienced 17 outbreaks in 2018. Three outbreaks in New York State, New York City, and New Jersey, respectively, contributed to most of the cases. Cases in those states 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-two people brought measles to the U.S. from other countries in 2018.

A 75-case outbreak was reported in Minnesota in a Somali-American community with poor vaccination coverage.

MMWR: 2017 Outbreaks

MMWR: 2016 Outbreaks

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.

MMWR: 2015 Outbreaks

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.

MMWR: 2014 Outbreaks

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.

MMWR: 2013 Outbreaks

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.

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.

Page last reviewed: January 6, 2020