Diseases

The return of measles

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Measles — declared eradicated in the U.S. in 2000 — has roared back at a record pace this year.

Why it matters: Most Americans have no firsthand experience with measles and that lack of familiarity, along with the online success of the anti-vaccine movement, is giving a deadly but easily preventable virus an opening to spread.

U.S. measles cases hit highest level since it was declared eradicated in 2000

Hands of doctor or nurse in medical gloves with medical syringe ready for injection a shot of Measles vaccine. close up, selective focus
Photo: Roman Didkivskyi/Getty Images

Measles outbreaks in 22 states so far in 2019 have now eclipsed levels seen in any year since the virus was declared eradicated in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Details: The CDC released a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying the U.S. has seen 695 measles cases so far in the year, which beats the previous record of 667 cases during 2014. "The high number of cases in 2019 is primarily the result of a few large outbreaks – one in Washington State and two large outbreaks in New York that started in late 2018," the CDC said.