Global measles cases at 13-year high

With measles cases spreading rapidly worldwide, new data from the World Health Organization shows that there have been more cases in the first six months of 2019 than in any year since 2006.

From Jan. 1 through July 31, 182 countries have reported 364,808 measles cases to WHO, up from 129,239 measles cases reported in the same period last year. For all of 2018, a total of 353,236 measles cases were reported to WHO.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and Ukraine have reported the highest numbers of cases this year. Major outbreaks have also been reported in Angola, Cameroon, Chad, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and the Philippines.

The United States has reported 1,182 measles cases, as of Aug. 8, the highest number of cases reported in the country since 1992. In the WHO European region, about 90,000 cases have been reported this year, more than the total of 84,462 for all of 2018.

WHO advised that everyone keep measles vaccinations up to date and take the two doses required for protection. People are also urged to check their vaccination status before traveling.

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