These 2019 Measles Outbreak Statistics Show Why Protecting Yourself Is So Important

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America is in the midst of a serious measles outbreak. The number of reported cases in the United States has skyrocketed from past years, and statistics from the 2019 measles outbreak show in no unclear terms just how crucial it is to get measles vaccinations.

According to the New York Times, this year's outbreak began with 126 infections that occurred overseas, mostly but not exclusively in Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines. Now, almost half of the states in the country have had at least one reported case of measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“The number of measles cases we're seeing is alarming and much higher than we've seen in a long time, but there is also an incredibly large number of people who are not getting measles right now because of their immunity in having received the vaccine,” Allison Bartlett, an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Chicago, told VICE. “It's important to be aware of measles and do what we can to keep everybody safe, but it also is a reminder of the power of vaccination when universally applied.”

Vaccines are in fact a highly effective way to prevent the contraction and spread of measles and many other infectious diseases. If you've been hearing a lot about the outbreak and have questions, here are some statistics that show exactly what's happening.

Measles Cases In 2019

There have been 704 reported cases of measles in the United States as of this writing, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

States With Reported Cases

Measles has been reported in 22 states in 2019 so far, according to the CDC.

Measles Cases In 2019 Vs. 2018

In 2018, there were 372 reported cases of measles in the United States throughout the entire year, according to the CDC. This means that the number of measles cases reported in the first four months of 2019 is already almost twice the total number reported in all of 2018.

Years Since Last Outbreak This Big

There have been more cases of measles reported in the United States in 2019 — so far — than in any year since 1994, according to the CDC, making this the biggest outbreak in a quarter of a century.

Number Of People Hospitalized

According to the New York Times, 66 people in the United States have been hospitalized with measles in 2019 so far.

Number Of Unvaccinated People Who Got Measles

Of the 704 people who've contracted measles, at least 503 were unvaccinated, according to the Times.

Number Of Vaccinated People Who Got Measles

Around 76 people who contracted measles had received a measles vaccine but got sick anyway, according to the Times. One dose of the measles vaccine is around 93 percent effective, according to the CDC, while two doses are 97 percent effective.) In 125 cases, the vaccination status of the person who contracted measles is unknown, the Times reports.

Summons Issued For Not Getting A Vaccination

In the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, 57 people were issued summons for failing to vaccinate either themselves or their children, according to the Times. These citations carry a fine of up to $1,000, or twice that if the person in question doesn't show up for court.

Number Of Students Quarantined In LA

In March, around 800 students at Cal State Los Angeles and the University of California Los Angeles were quarantined under suspicion that they'd been exposed to measles, according to the Times. As of April 30, around 370 are still quarantined.

Cases Worldwide

During the first three months of 2019, there were three times as many reported cases of measles worldwide than during the same period of time the year before, according to the Times.

Number Of Deaths

Although 2019 is a record-breaking year for measles cases in the United States, nobody in America who's contracted the disease has died so far, according to the Times.

But that certainly doesn't mean it's not serious. “During measles outbreaks, efforts should be made to ensure that everyone at risk for exposure and infection is protected against measles through vaccination or past infection,” Tom Clark, the deputy director of CDC's Division of Viral Diseases, told VICE. If you want to know more about Measles and the MMR vaccine, you can visit the CDC's website here.