This year, the U.S. has seen the most measles outbreaks since 1996, the CDC said. Of the 129 people infected, with highest numbers in California, New York and Washington state, the majority were not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday 129 people in 13 states have been infected with the measles this year, which is the most in the first four months of a year since 1996.
34 people among the 129 infected brought the virus from other countries. The majority of those infected were not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status. California has 58 cases of measles, New York has seen 24 and Washington state has had 13, the Washington Post reports. So far there have been no deaths reported in the outbreak.
The CDC’s report stresses the effectiveness of vaccines. Measles vaccinations have prevented 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the last 20 years, the CDC says. They’ve also saved the U.S. $295 billion in direct costs like medical expenses.
There are about 60 cases reported in the U.S. on average every year. Most Americans are vaccinated against the measles, but since the disease is still prevent in other countries, travelers can contract it.
“The health security of the United States is only as strong as the health security of all nations around the world,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a statement. “We are all connected by the food we eat, the water we drink, and air we breathe.”