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Americans have now suffered more measles cases in 2019 than in any year since 1992
Measles cases in the U.S. have hit a record high — 1,172 cases so far.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that the U.S. has seen 1,172 measles cases so far in 2019.
- New York, Michigan, and Washington State have been hit especially hard by the virus this year.
- The majority of infected people were unvaccinated.
In 2000, health officials said measles was eliminated in the U.S. But in 2019, the nation has already recorded at least 1,172 cases of the virus — the most in a single year since 1992.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a report on Aug. 1 stating that, among those who got measles in 2019, 124 people have been hospitalized, while 64 reported serious health complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis.
"The majority of cases are among people who were not vaccinated against measles," the CDC wrote. "More than 75 percent of the cases this year are linked to outbreaks in New York and New York City. Measles is more likely to spread and cause outbreaks in U.S. communities where groups of people are unvaccinated."
Thirty states have reported measles cases this year to the CDC: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.
Image source: CDC
Some of the most alarming outbreaks of 2019 occurred in New York, Michigan, and Washington State. In January, a measles outbreak spread across an anti-vaccination "hotspot" — an area with many unvaccinated people — in Clark County, Wash., causing officials to declare a public health emergency. About 8 percent of children in the area's public schools had received exemptions from getting vaccinated for measles, based on personal or philosophical reasons. This likely helped fuel the outbreak, which ultimately infected 52 children under the age of 10.
In New York, measles outbreaks struck several ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities, including some in New York City. The outbreak prompted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to declare a public health emergency for select zip codes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Under the emergency, people were required to get vaccinations or they could face fines up to $1,000.
"This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately," Mr. de Blasio said at a press conference. "The measles vaccine works. It is safe. It is effective. It is time-tested."
The CDC wrote that measles outbreaks occur mainly because more people travel abroad and then bring it back into the country, and also because of communities with pockets of unvaccinated people.
"The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine," the CDC wrote. "MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles."
Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.
- Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
- As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
- The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.
China moves to Russia and India takes over Canada. The Swiss get Bangladesh, the Bangladeshi India. And the U.S.? It stays where it is.
What if the world were rearranged so that the inhabitants of the country with the largest population would move to the country with the largest area? And the second-largest population would migrate to the second-largest country, and so on?
A recent analysis of a 76-million-year-old Centrosaurus apertus fibula confirmed that dinosaurs suffered from cancer, too.
- The fibula was originally discovered in 1989, though at the time scientists believed the damaged bone had been fractured.
- After reanalyzing the bone, and comparing it with fibulas from a human and another dinosaur, a team of scientists confirmed that the dinosaur suffered from the bone cancer osteosarcoma.
- The study shows how modern techniques can help scientists learn about the ancient origins of diseases.
Centrosaurus apertus fibula
Royal Ontario Museum<p>In the recent study, the team used a combination of techniques to analyze the fibula, including taking CT scans, casting the bone and studying thin slices of it under a microscope. The analysis suggested that the dinosaur likely suffered from osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affects modern humans, typically young adults.</p><p>For further evidence, the team compared the damaged fibula to a healthy fibula from a dinosaur of the same species, and also to a fibula that belonged to a 19-year-old human who suffered from osteosarcoma. Both comparisons supported the osteosarcoma diagnosis.</p>
Evans et al.<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The shin bone shows aggressive cancer at an advanced stage," Evans said in a <a href="https://www.rom.on.ca/en/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/rare-malignant-cancer-diagnosed-in-a-dinosaur" target="_blank">press release</a>. "The cancer would have had crippling effects on the individual and made it very vulnerable to the formidable tyrannosaur predators of the time."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The fact that this plant-eating dinosaur lived in a large, protective herd may have allowed it to survive longer than it normally would have with such a devastating disease."</p><p>The fossilized fibula was originally unearthed in a bonebed alongside the remains of dozens of other <em>Centrosaurus </em><em>apertus</em>, suggesting the dinosaur didn't die from cancer, but from a flood that swept it away with its herd.</p>
Dinosaur fibula; the tumor mass is depicted in yellow.
Royal Ontario Museum/McMaster University<p>The new study highlights how modern techniques can help scientists learn more about the evolutionary origins of modern diseases, like cancer. It also shows that dinosaurs suffered through some of the same terrestrial afflictions humans face today.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Dinosaurs can seem like mythical creatures, but they were living, breathing animals that suffered through horrible injuries and diseases," Evans said, "and this discovery certainly makes them more real and helps bring them to life in that respect."</p>
Join the lauded author of Range in conversation with best-selling author and poker pro Maria Konnikova!
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Malcolm Gladwell was not able to make the live stream due to scheduling issues. Fortunately, David Epstein was able to jump in at a moment's notice. We hope you enjoy this great yet unexpected episode of Big Think Live. Our thanks to David and Maria for helping us deliver a show, it is much appreciated.