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Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

After a century of progress against infectious diseases in America, experts now warn of a “very worrisome trend."

Why it matters: Infectious diseases kill far fewer today than a century ago, the AP notes, but the numbers are moving in the wrong direction.

  • Measles hit their highest U.S. rate in 27 years, concentrated among Orthodox Jews.
  • Hepatitis A is up more than 10x from 2017, sparked by an outbreak among the homeless and drug users.
  • And eastern equine encephalitis killed 15 of the 38 people diagnosed this year. The 38 cases is double the previous rate.

The big picture: America remains very fortunate compared to our fellow global citizens.

  • Measles killed 142,300 people worldwide in 2018, compared to zero in the U.S. in 2019.

Between the lines: America's measles elimination status isn't as important as "the fact that we remain highly vulnerable," Baylor pediatrics professor Peter Hotez told Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly earlier this year.

  • There are "at least 100 geographic pockets in the U.S. where a high percentage of kids are not being vaccinated, together with measles cases now regularly imported from Europe where measles is even more widespread," Hotez said.

The bottom line: Backsliding is bad, particularly when it's largely the result of human choices, rather than mother nature's ingenuity.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

1 hour ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.