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Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Measles cases today reached 971 in 26 states so far this year — eclipsing 1994's 963 cases reported for the entire year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Measles was declared "eradicated" in the U.S. in 2000, years after the development and implementation of the MMR vaccine, which is 97% effective with 2 doses. But the extremely contagious virus has crept back into American society, mainly via pockets of communities who refuse to use the vaccinations, experts have told Axios.

Context: Anti-vaccination sentiment has been fomented via misinformation — and some reports show this may be promulgated by Russians trying to affect the 2020 election.

  • Another problem, some experts say, is that the vaccine has been so effective that younger families no longer remember what it was like to have widespread measles, and they don't consider it a necessity.
  • But before widespread vaccination, around 3 to 4 million Americans got measles each year, leading to an estimated 400–500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations, per CDC.
"Outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County, New York have continued for nearly 7 months.  If these outbreaks continue through summer and fall, the United States may lose its measles elimination status. That loss would be a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health."
— CDC press announcement

Go deeper: Follow Axios' coverage of the ongoing measles outbreak here.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.