U.S. Reports Record Low 37 Measles Cases in 2004, CDC Finds
Confirmed measles cases in the U.S. declined from 44 cases in 2002 to 37 cases in 2004, CDC officials reported on Thursday, Reuters/Arizona Daily Star reports (Reuters/Arizona Daily Star, 12/9). It is the lowest incidence of measles in the U.S. since data collection began more than 90 years ago, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12/8).
In the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC states, "Confirmed measles cases occurred predominantly among preschool-aged children (ages one to four years old)" (Reuters/Arizona Daily Star, 12/9). Nearly all of the measles cases originated in other countries or were imported into the U.S., with 14 occurring in U.S. residents who traveled to other countries, 13 in foreigners who carried the disease to the U.S. and six in people infected by those two groups, CDC officials reported (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12/8).
About three-quarters of the 27 imported cases were carried by travelers from China, India, Bangladesh and a number of other countries, and 13 of those cases were "infectious during aircraft flights," the report states (Reuters/Arizona Daily Star, 12/9).
Gustavo Dayan, a CDC epidemiologist, said the reduction in measles cases can be attributed to "the success of the vaccination program" (AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12/8).
The report is available online.