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."
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Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Picking up where we left off a year ago, a conversation about the homeostatic imperative as it plays out in everything from bacteria to pharmaceutical companies—and how the marvelous apparatus of the human mind also gets us into all kinds of trouble.
- "Prior to nervous systems: no mind, no consciousness, no intention in the full sense of the term. After nervous systems, gradually we ascend to this possibility of having to this possibility of having minds, having consciousness, and having reasoning that allows us to arrive at some of these very interesting decisions."
- "We are fragile culturally and socially…but life is fragile to begin with. All that it takes is a little bit of bad luck in the management of those supports, and you're cooked…you can actually be cooked—with global warming!"