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.

So far in 2019:

  • 695 confirmed cases of measles in 22 states.
  • More than 70 new confirmed cases reported in just the past week.
  • 5 states reporting ongoing outbreaks as of Monday (at least 3 cases in one place counts as an outbreak).

We may be a victim of our own success in squelching what used to be a ubiquitous virus that is extremely contagious.

  • According to the CDC, prior to 1963, between 3 to 4 million were infected each year and nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years old.
  • A CDC spokesperson tells Axios that among reported cases, an estimated 400 to 500 people died annually prior to widespread vaccination, 48,000 were hospitalized and 1,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.

Now, due in large part to vaccination efforts that began in 1963, most Americans have no experience with the virus.

  • Parents may be fooled into thinking that measles is a relatively mild disease, similar to the flu, and think vaccination is unnecessary or not a priority.
  • This is not only wrong, but it could have deadly consequences.
"Parents may think that many vaccine-preventable diseases are mild, but there’s no way to tell how serious a disease may be for a child," CDC spokesman Jason McDonald tells Axios via email. But measles can be particularly hazardous for babies and young children, he says.
  • From 2001-2013, 28% of children younger than 5 years old who had measles had to be treated in the hospital, McDonald said, 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."

Different vaccine-hesitant communities added together are causing vaccination rates to fall below effective immunity levels, Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.

“It is kind of like all of the stars are in the right pace for the disaster we’re seeing now because we’re having multiple factors combining together to give us these outbreaks,” Fauci says.

The situation is worrying enough in New York State alone that the CDC issued a stark warning Wednesday: "The longer these outbreaks continue, the greater the chance measles will again get a sustained foothold in the United States."

The bottom line: One relatively morbid source of hope, however, are the widely-reported health impacts from the ongoing outbreaks, with children in intensive care units and an El Al Airlines flight attendant in a coma.

“I think unfortunately the best motivation… is that we’re having these outbreaks and people are really getting seriously ill,” Fauci says. “Those are the things that are going to jolt people into reconsidering this.”

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Trump signs bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding into early December, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Driving the news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10. The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election, though funding did expire briefly before the bill was signed.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 25 mins ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.