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Expand chart
Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The measles outbreak in the U.S., which is fast approaching the 1-year mark and has broken a 27-year record, has reached 1,203 cases in 30 states since the start of 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Why it matters: The school year is starting and public health officials are concerned that the highly contagious virus will be spread via unvaccinated children and college students, possibly leading to severe complications or death.

The latest: The CDC said there were 21 new cases confirmed last week.

  • The U.S. is in danger of losing its "measles-free" designation from the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization, which it's had since 2000.
  • The CDC says 124 people with measles were hospitalized between Jan. 1 and Aug. 15, with 64 reporting complications that include pneumonia and encephalitis.
  • All measles cases this year have been caused by measles wild-type D8 or B3, per the CDC.

Meanwhile, measles continues spreading overseas as well. The WHO reported last week that the first 6 months of 2019 showed measles cases are the highest they've been in any year since 2006.

The bottom line: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Axios last week he was "very concerned" about the upcoming school year, as there needs to be a 93%–95% overall vaccination rate to protect communities.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 1. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

President Biden will announce new testing protocols for international travelers on Thursday and extend masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter, according to senior administration officials.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

26 mins ago - Health

America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The race to figure out just how dangerous the Omicron variant is will likely be a global effort, but some experts are skeptical that the U.S. will play a dominant role.

Why it matters: The CDC has repeatedly come under fire for inadequate data collection throughout the pandemic — and figuring out how to respond to Omicron requires a lot of data that doesn't currently exist.

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.