Measles Hasn't Been This Bad in 20 Years
288 cases across 18 states confirmed so far this year
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2014 7:04 AM CDT
In this April 24, 2006 file photo, an R.N. at the Wichita Clinic draws a dose of mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine in Wichita, Kan.   (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Mike Hutmacher, File)

(Newser) – The tide of measles stories is growing stronger—and more dismal: The CDC yesterday revealed that some 288 cases have been recorded across 18 states in the first five months of this year, making 2014's outbreak the biggest in 20 years. Things are worst in Ohio, with the CDC logging 138 cases there; California has seen 60 and New York 26, the Washington Post reports. But another non-US location is a big factor in the story: the Philippines. Some 97% of the cases are related to foreign travel by people who haven't been vaccinated, and about half visited the Philippines, where 32,000 people have been infected since January.

To wit, the Ohio outbreak started with two members of the Amish community who contracted the highly contagious disease on a humanitarian aid trip to the Philippines in March then infected others at home. "This scenario is the one that I've had the most nightmares about," an Ohio health commissioner tells the Wall Street Journal, adding some Amish communities are refusing immunization. Officials across the country are now trying to make it more difficult for parents to exempt kids from vaccinations, and free clinics have been set up, but some still avoid the needle. "This is not an insignificant illness," warns a medical director. "This is an illness that is well worth avoiding." (The US eliminated measles in 2000, but that never meant we were measles-free.)

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Showing 3 of 51 comments
Jun 2, 2014 1:11 AM CDT
Let's not be too hard on Jenny, now. She's got a pretty nice set of jugs.
Enzyte Bob
Jun 2, 2014 12:02 AM CDT
Did anybody else catch the irony here? Jenny McCarthy is from Cincinnati (Ohio). It's almost like someone is trying to send a message.
Jun 1, 2014 4:26 PM CDT
It's sad that with celebrity comes the veneer of wisdom and authority on all things. McCarthy and her ilk are participants in the killing of people who can't defend themselves against disease, mainly because a more infamous murderer, Andrew Wakefield, has been allowed to walk among the living. Were the state to imprison him and hold him accountable for the thousands he's condemned, this would not go on as it has.