2018 was a bad year for measles in the United States according to preliminary data from federal health officials.


In 2018, 349 individual cases of measles were confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia. This is the second-greatest number of annual cases reported since measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. (The greatest was 667 cases reported in 2014). 17 outbreaks (defined as 3 or more linked cases) were reported last year.

Why the increase in 2018?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Three outbreaks in New York State, New York City, and New Jersey, respectively, contributed to measles cases in 2018. Cases occurred primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities. These outbreaks were associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel, where a large outbreak is occurring. Eighty-one people brought measles to the U.S. from other countries in 2018. This is the greatest number of imported cases since measles was eliminated from the U.S. in 2000. 

Israel measles update: Case count declines, Another death reported