"Over recent months, spikes in case numbers have also occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States.as well as Israel, Thailand, and Tunisia, as the disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people", the World Health Organization said. Of those, 229 were reported this year, accounting for more than one-third of the 555 cases that have been reported nationwide in 2019, as of April 11, according to figures updated Monday by the CDC. "This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated in 2000", the CDC said in a statement.
The 2019 tally is already the most since 2014, when 667 were reported.
Measles first became a notable disease in the United States in 1921, requiring USA health care providers and laboratories to report all diagnosed cases.
How measles outbreaks spread in the U.S..
While vaccines are required for school children across the country, nearly all states allow exemptions for families who say it's against their religious beliefs, and 17 states allow a parent to opt out for philosophical or personal reasons. It can take up to 21 days for measles symptoms to appear after a person is exposed to the virus.
Most of the cases have been in NY, site of an outbreak among ultra-Orthodox Jews that started in the fall. Almost two-thirds of all cases have been in NY, and 85 percent of the latest week's cases came from the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children get two doses of measles vaccine, which is 97% effective.
They added: "More than 20 million lives have been saved through measles vaccination since the year 2000 alone".
Claims about health risks from vaccines are "based purely on fabrication", he continued. "That's been proven. There is no association whatsoever between the measles vaccine and autism".
Video: Despite the massive evidence, the anti-vaccination movement is gaining strength. And that measles is far from harmless.
Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious health complications, including infections of the lungs and brain. For every 1,000 children who get the disease, the CDC estimated one or two will die from it.
Measles can also cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely or have a low-birth-weight baby.