U.S. Measles Cases Grow to 64 in 2024 So Far

March 26, 2024
New cases were reported in Illinois and New York, and the CDC has updated its guidelines for people unsure of their MMR vaccination status who are set to travel internationally

Three more measles cases were identified over the weekend of March 23 in Illinois and New York.

Healthcare Purchasing News has previously reported on measles outbreaks this year.

The two cases in Illinois identified over the weekend, in Will and Lake counties, are “related to the ongoing outbreak in Chicago.” Officials in Lake County warn “of possible exposure to the patient at a restaurant in Lake Zurich and a medical center in Libertyville.”

Chicago’s total number of cases stands at 26, most of which are linked to a migrant shelter, “with 19 occurring in children 4 years and younger and 6 in adults aged 18 to 49.”

Meanwhile, in New York, the new case “involves an unvaccinated child living in Nassau County who has been hospitalized. The case was the third reported in the state and the first outside of New York City this year, the New York State Department of Health said in a March 23 news release.”

The 2024 total of measles cases in the U.S. is so far up to 64, “compared with 53 in all of 2023. So far this year, cases have been documented in 17 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. Most infections have occurred in children 1 year or older who hadn't received the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.”

Additionally, the Centre for Health Protection in Hong Kong has reported two measles infections there, both stemming from international travel to Indonesia in one case and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the other. The U.S. CDC increased the guidelines for people traveling internationally “who are unsure of their vaccination status” to ask their doctors at least 6 weeks before travel, as compared to the prior guideline of one month.

The U.S. outbreaks of measles are attributable partially to MMR vaccination gaps; after two doses, an MMR vaccine is “about 97% effective at preventing measles,” and after one dose of the two-dose regimen, the vaccine is already “roughly 93% effective.”

CIDRAP’s website has the news release.