Imported Measles Cases in 2011 on Par With Recent Years

United States had 13 cases in early 2011, including seven in children aged 6 to 23 months

THURSDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- The total number of reported measles cases in the United States in the first two months of 2011 appears to be comparable to the number of reported cases each year between 2001 and 2010, according a report in the April 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC analyzed data from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System between January 2001 and February 2011 to compare imported measles cases reported in the first two months of 2011 in U.S. travelers, aged 6 to 23 months, to cases in recent years.

According to the report, between January and February 2011, there were 13 imported measles cases in U.S. residents, including seven in unvaccinated children aged 6 to 23 months. Between 2001 and 2010, 159 imported measles cases were reported in U.S. residents, including 47 in children aged 6 to 23 months, three of whom had been vaccinated prior to travel.

"These findings highlight the importance of reviewing the vaccination history of anyone planning international travel. Clinicians also should maintain a high level of suspicion for measles in patients with febrile rash illnesses and recent travel outside the United States," the authors write. "Finally, physicians should report suspected measles cases immediately to their local health department and obtain specimens for measles testing, including viral specimens for confirmation and genotyping."

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