Measles cases continue to rise, bringing year's total to 555 Express News

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference declaring a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn in response to a measles outbreak, requiring unvaccinated people living in the affected areas to get the vaccine or face fines, in the Orthodox Jewish community of the Williamsburg neighborhood, in Brooklyn, New York City, April 9, 2019.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference declaring a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn in response to a measles outbreak, requiring unvaccinated people living in the affected areas to get the vaccine or face fines, in the Orthodox Jewish community of the Williamsburg neighborhood, in Brooklyn, New York City, April 9, 2019.

Another 90 measles cases were reported last week, bringing the year’s total to 555 cases, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since January, the disease has been reported in 20 states. Outbreaks, defined as three or more cases, are ongoing in five areas: New York City, New York State’s Rockland County, Washington, New Jersey, California’s Santa Cruz County and California’s Butte County.

Just four months into the year, the number of measles cases is already nearing the total for all of 2014, the worst year since the disease was eradicated from the U.S. In 2014, there were 667 cases, according to the CDC. There have been 555 this year as of April 11.

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Measles is highly contagious, infecting up to 90 percent of unvaccinated people who are exposed to it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus can live in the air for up to two hours after an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC, meaning people can be exposed to it without ever knowing.

People can be infected for days before showing signs of the virus, such as a fever, runny nose or a rash.

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