Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Resistance to the measles vaccine in some communities, including the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in New York City, is allowing the virus to make inroads. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The record-large measles outbreaks occurring across 22 states continue to grow, with a total of 704 cases through Friday, according to new data released Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: U.S. measles outbreaks so far this year have eclipsed all other outbreaks in any year since the virus was declared eradicated in the country in 2000. The total number of cases has been dominated by three outbreaks in particular, including a large outbreak in Washington state, two ongoing outbreaks in New York and an ongoing outbreak in California.

  • The New York outbreaks have been the largest individual outbreaks on record since 2000, a CDC official told reporters on a press call.

The big picture: Measles is a preventable, sometimes deadly illness against which a safe and effective vaccine exists. The U.S. outbreaks have been touched off by travelers coming into the U.S. from regions where measles outbreaks are ongoing. The disease is then spread in regions where there was not sufficiently high levels of immunization.

  • Countries that have resulted in the accidental importation of measles cases into the U.S. include Ukraine, Israel and the Philippines.

What they're saying: CDC director Robert Redfield emphasized the contagiousness of measles, stating that if someone who has measles enters a room of 10 unvaccinated people, 9 of them would get the illness.

  • Health officials warned on Monday that measles is not a harmless childhood illness and it can be deadly.
  • From 2001 to 2013, 28% of children younger than 5 years old who had measles had to be treated in a hospital, CDC spokesperson Jason McDonald told Axios last week, referring to relatively small outbreaks related to measles patients who traveled to the U.S. from areas where the disease is still active.
  • "Some children develop pneumonia, a serious lung infection, or lifelong brain damage," he said.

Details: The national average vaccination coverage in kindergarten children — 94.3% for 2 doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine for the 2017–2018 school year — is at a level consistent with the "herd immunity" necessary to prevent a nationwide outbreak. However, pockets of community resistance to the vaccine, including in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in New York City, are allowing the virus to make inroads, officials said.

  • "Vaccine preventable diseases belong in the history books, not in our emergency rooms," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters.
  • The CDC is urging individuals who are unsure of their vaccination status or who have questions about the safety of the vaccine to contact their health care provider.

What's next: "We should expect to see additional cases associated with this outbreak this year," said Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

  • Messonnier added that the measles outbreak in New York could be contained if officials work together to increase vaccination rates and counter disinformation raising concerns about the safety of the vaccine. "Once measles is in an undervaccinated community, it is difficult to control the disease," she said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
15 mins ago - Health

Vaccine-hesitant Americans cite inaccurate side effects

Expand chart
Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

An alarming amount of vaccine-hesitant people who list side effects as a top concern falsely believe the vaccines cause death, DNA alteration, infertility or birth defects, according to recent Harris polling.

Why it matters: Respondents also listed blood clots, which are a real side effect of some coronavirus vaccines, but extremely rare. This survey suggests that misinformation or a skewed understanding of risk may be behind a sizable portion of vaccine hesitancy.

1 hour ago - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

The new digital extortion

Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you run a hospital, a bank, a utility or a city, chances are you'll be hit with a ransomware attack. Given the choice between losing your precious data or paying up, chances are you'll pay.

Why it matters: Paying the hackers is the clear short-term answer for most organizations hit with these devastating attacks, but it's a long-term societal disaster, encouraging hackers to continue their lucrative extortion schemes.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC's surprise guidance last week freeing the fully vaccinated to go maskless sowed plenty of concerns across the country— even earning the "Saturday Night Live" treatment for all the questions it spurred.

Why it matters: With plenty of Americans still unvaccinated — and without any good way to confirm who has been vaccinated — some experts worry this could put many at increased risk.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!