Between December 1, 2023 and January 23, 2024, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was notified of 23 confirmed U.S. cases of measles, including seven direct importations of measles by international travelers and two outbreaks with more than five cases each. Most of these cases were among children and adolescents who had not received a measles-containing vaccine (MMR or MMRV), even if age-eligible.
Due to the recent cases, healthcare providers should be on alert for patients who have: (1) febrile rash illness and symptoms consistent with measles (e.g., cough, coryza, or conjunctivitis), and (2) have recently traveled abroad, especially to countries with ongoing measles outbreaks. Infected people are contagious from 4 days before the rash starts through 4 days afterward.
Measles cases often originate from unvaccinated or undervaccinated U.S. residents who travel internationally and then transmit the disease to people who are not vaccinated against measles. The increased number of measles importations seen in recent weeks is reflective of a rise in global measles cases and a growing global threat from the disease.
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