Thanks to Anti-Vaxxers, Nearly 100 Cases of Measles Reported Last Week

Thanks to Anti-Vaxxers, Nearly 100 Cases of Measles Reported Last Week April 8, 2019

Thanks to anti-vaxxers the United States has reported 465 cases of the measles so far this year. According to the CDC, 78 cases were confirmed in the last week alone. 2019 is on pace to have the most measles cases since the United States eradicated the virus in 2000.

On the weekly measles outbreak data provided by the Centers for Disease Control, the numbers of cases are surging. Only weeks ago the virus had been reported in just ten states. Now the CDC says that 19 states have confirmed at least one instance of the virus.

Last week the CDC reported only 15 states impacted by the measles and 387 cases. In just a week, four states joined the list and 78 new cases. Since the beginning of 2019, the CDC has reported almost a dozen outbreaks.

image credit CDC

Despite efforts to contain outbreaks, there are still on-going outbreaks in New York City, Rockland County, New York, New Jersey, Santa Cruz County, California, Butte County, California, Michigan, and Washington.

A break down of the cases:

Rockland County: 167 cases since the outbreak started in fall 2018

New York City: 259 cases since the outbreak began in fall 2018

New Jersey: 13 cases since the outbreak was declared in March 2019

Washington: 74 cases since January 2019

California: 17 cases in 2019

According to the CDC, all of the reported cases of measles are connected to international travel. Individuals picked up the virus in countries like Isreal, Ukraine, and the Philippines. Despite measles outbreaks in Europe and the Philippines, anti-vaxxers continue to travel abroad without obtaining vaccinations before they leave.

Due to the travel-related measles outbreaks, the CDC is urging anyone traveling outside of the United States to get up to date with their vaccinations.

Additionally, the CDC states that the majority of all the measles cases are occurring in unvaccinated individuals. The bulk of the cases are in children.

Due to low vaccination rates in some communities, a single traveler can infect hundreds of people. The virus is so contagious that 90% of people exposed to the measles will contract the virus if they are not vaccinated.

Outbreaks that started in 2018 maintain a stronghold in New York and New Jersey. In 2018, the CDC says that there were a total of 17 outbreaks in the United States.

However, the bulk of the cases in 2018 came from New York and New Jersey. Additionally, these outbreaks impacted the Orthodox Jewish community the most.

Because New York has been unable to contain their outbreak, the measles spread to Michigan last month. A traveler visited New York and Michigan.

While in New York, the traveler most likely became exposed. The single person brought the virus into Oakland County which resides within the Detroit Metro Area. As a result, Michigan reported 38 cases in less than a month.

As more states are added to the CDC’s growing list, more outbreaks will most certainly begin in other parts of the country. There are dozens and dozens of communities around the U.S. that have vaccination rates below herd immunity levels.

Despite the growing number of cases, states with personal exemptions have failed to remove their personal and religious exemptions. In fact, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports that only three states in the country ban both religious and personal exemptions which are California, West Virginia, and Mississippi.

Image credit National Conference of State Legislatures

Without the removal of these exemptions, the United States will continue to be susceptible to measles outbreaks. The Federal government has not said if they will impose Federal mandates for vaccinations.

Anti-vax propaganda has taken hold of the United States. For nearly 20 years, vaccination rates have dropped around the United States. With more people opting out, Americans will need to start thinking of measles outbreaks as the norm and no longer an exception.

The measles is back everyone. Sit tight; this year is only going to get worse.


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis on The Non-Sequitur Channel. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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  • WallofSleep

    :sigh: We’re gonna kill ourselves with this anti-vaxx stupidity.

  • This literally should not be happening. As a resident of NJ in a town bordering Rockland County, NY I see all the news stories on it. Rockland county’s health commission issued a ban on non-immunized kids attending public places like malls, ballparks, etc., in an attempt to halt the spread. There was outrage of course. New Jersey just published the vaccination rates of every school in the state (preschool through high school – my son is vaccinated and his high school has 95.92% vaccination compliance rate). I saw some schools with compliance rates in the 70s though….

    What a lot of people don’t understand is that their being vaccinated protects those who can’t be vaccinated for health reasons. It’s incredibly selfish for anti-vax parents to put other people’s children at risk

  • WallofSleep

    There was just a blurb on the evening news that the CDC is considering shutting down and even pulling the (licenses?) of NY schools that allow the unvaccinated to attend. I sure hope they do.

  • I hope so! The Orthodox and Hasidic Jewish communities are a vocal lobby though, so it’s difficult to get compliance. The yeshiva schools are another issue – poor education leaving students at a great disadvantage

  • And, of course, the judge that ruled quarantine measures were a violation of people’s rights.

    Someone ought to be yanked right off that bench, if you ask me.

  • Oooh, Plague, Inc!

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    cue the howler monkeys come to tell us all how the vaccines are bad and catching life threatening diseases is good for you.

  • Kit Hadley-Day

    I appreciate that this is going to be an unpopular suggestion but is not about time all these very fundamentalist schools get shut down, they are breeding grounds for diseases and extremists and they fail the one actual job of a school which is to educate. The only way to break the cycle of stupidity is to make sure the kids get a proper education that allows them the opportunity to join the world.

    If living in a religious ghetto is such a good thing why does it require such a high level of coercion to get people to stay?

  • Tawreos

    I am surprised that Mississippi is one of the states that does not allow religious exemptions. I would have thought that the Jesus loving pro-plaguers would have felt right at home there.

  • Brian Curtis

    Being incredibly selfish–particularly, saying “My kid matters and yours can die”–is a proud American tradition.

  • Martin Penwald

    Do you know if the gameplay is similar to Pandemic ?

  • Martin Penwald

    What a lot of people don’t understand is that their being vaccinated protects those who can’t be vaccinated for health reasons.

    When I read the Plague enthousiasts that plague comments sections, i’m not sure that they don’t understand. They seem more of the “fuck you I got mine” mentality.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    Developed from it. More complex gameplay, and they resolved some of the problems – like @#$%^ Madagascar!

  • WallofSleep

    I got it dirt cheap on a Steam sale, and wound up having way more fun with it than I thought I would. They’re working on adding an anti-vaxxer element to the game.

  • AnonCar

    Michigan’s outbreak has spread beyond the Metro Detroit area. There is at least one confirmed case in the Ann Arbor area now.

  • persephone

    They’ll probably add them. The fundagelicals are getting into the “vaccines are derived from aborted fetuses” story, so they’re becoming anti-vax. Suzanne Titkemeyer at No Longer Quivering, who lives in Costa Rica (cue sighs of envy), posted about a missionary family there, with way too many kids, who had a visitor from the U.S. that brought in measles, and the family got infected. Costa Rica requires vaccinations of all residents. The missionary family is in hot water, and I hope it affects how the government deals with them.

  • Oh, Madagascar’s still a PITA.

  • It’s in my wishlist — didn’t have the funds last time it was on sale.

  • WallofSleep

    I’d recommend getting the PC version, as it comes with all the DLC bundled into it for a single price. I’m pretty sure that it’s still sold piecemeal on tablet platforms, but I don’t know what the prices are for that. I’m not really interested in tablet gaming.

    They did a really good job with the ambient audio, IMO. It starts off innocent and light hearted, but subtly and progressively gets more dark and ominous the further your virus spreads and the deadlier it gets. It almost starts to make you feel bad for winning a scenario.

  • The giggling children always get me.

  • WallofSleep

    And the ghostly echo of children singing “Ring around the rosy…” is epically brilliant.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    I find Greenland worse.

  • Makes me shiver.

  • Matt G

    I heard an explanation for these two surprising states (Miss and WV). Turns out they had major outbreaks of some vaccine-preventable disease many decades ago, and that scared people (and the state governments) straight. You’d think these would be some of the get-the-damn-gummint-outta-my-business states.