On New Year’s Eve, a child who had traveled from Ukraine was directly taken at the urgent-care clinic. By January 15, the local health department recorded two more cases along with eleven cases under investigation. Till quarters of the year, 71 more cases were confirmed by the department.
The number of measles cases in the USA has hit its highest level in more than 25 years. Until now, more than 1,000 cases are reported in the country. The year 2019 is the worst outbreak since the year 1992 where 2,216 cases were recorded. In 2000, public authorities claimed that measles has been eliminated from the country but that’s not the case now.
I’m worried,” Thomas Clark, deputy director of the CDC’s division of viral diseases, said in an interview. “This is the worst it’s been since we did what it took to eliminate measles.”
Most of the measles 0utbreak has been linked to New York City and Rockland Country, NY. Out of 50 states, 26 states have reported the outbreak this year. Clark County Public Health has taken over the building and shared its department with the 200 volunteers, employees, state, and federal health officials. The hefty toll is draining the resources and taking a toll over the health department and drawn off health care from other needs.
“If you have something like a measles outbreak, pretty much everyone in your department is going to be working on that,” said Karen Smith, the state public health officer and director of the California Department of Public Health, which has seen 51 confirmed measles cases as of June 5. “It really impacts the entire system.”
The Clark County Health Department officials have logged off 19,000 working hours and spent $8,00,000 on the outbreak. It has also kept more than 4,000 people for the interview and also kept 800 people under daily monitoring. “It was kind of a nightmare, in terms of the workload,” Dr. Melnick said. “Public health is underfunded at all levels, and this is $800,000 spent on something completely preventable.”
In New York alone, 588 measles cases are confirmed and approximately 6,000 students who are not vaccinated are excluded from the schools. The City has banned religious exemptions for vaccines amid the outbreak. “I’m not aware of anything in the Torah, the Bible, the Koran or anything else that suggests you should not get vaccinated,” said Bronx Democrat Jeffrey Dinowitz, who sponsored the bill.
The Health department conveyed that will not stop until the outbreak is completely eradicated from the country.