Measles Outbreaks 2023

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Last reviewed
May 30, 2023
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Measles detected in England, Utah, Ohio, Kentucky, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Nigeria, Paraguay, Australia, Samoa, Cameroon, and Africa in May 2023.

Measles Outbreaks May 2023

Measles cases worldwide increased by about 80% during 2022 compared with 2021, and experts warned of increasing measles outbreaks in various countries in 2023. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease. About 90% of unprotected people will become infected when exposed to the measles virus. In the United Kingdom (U.K.), the NHS recommends vaccination as the best way to prevent measles outbreaks in children. However, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) estimates that in 2021 more than 1.7 million children in 28 countries and territories of the Americas did not receive an initial dose of the measles vaccine by their first birthday. 

As of April 28, 2023, the CDC reported ten measles cases in eight jurisdictions in 2023 and 121 measles cases in six U.S. jurisdictions in 2022. In 2021, a total of 49 measles cases were reported by five jurisdictions.

The CDC's top ten measles outbreaks as of May 12, 2023, were led by India, with 68,473 cases. In 2021, an estimated 9 million cases and 128,000 deaths from measles were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, the CDC published a global Watch-Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions notice on May 16, 2023, regarding measles outbreaks in Africa (March 2023), Afghanistan, India, and Nigeria.

Africa Measles Outbreak 2023

A measles outbreak has been declared in all the provinces in South Africa except for the Eastern Cape. The NICD tested serum samples for measles since epidemiological week #40 in 2022, of which 17% were confirmed positive as of May 2023. The measles strain detected in Limpopo province and North West province is genotype D8, similar to the strain in Zimbabwe in the 2022 measles outbreak.

And from January 2022 to February 2023, health authorities in South Sudan responded to 4,339 suspected measles cases, including 46 deaths (case fatality ratio: 1.06%). As of April 23, 2023, an ongoing measles outbreak occurred in Cameroon, where the disease is endemic. On April 13, 2023, Lesotho health officials announced a measles outbreak in the capital city of Maseru. In 2019, Lesotho experienced its first measles outbreak in almost ten years.

The ongoing measles outbreak in Mauritania has affected 28 districts in 11 regions in 2023, with most cases reported from the Bassiknou district. Cumulatively, from January to May 14, 2023, 332 suspected measles cases were reported. A total of four deaths were reported, resulting in a case fatality rate of 2%.

American Samoa Measles Outbreak 2023

An active measles outbreak in the U.S. Territory of American Samoa was declared on April 24, 2023. As of April 30, 2023, 2 confirmed and 52 probable measles cases were reported by the Department of Health. Therefore, travelers from the Territory (including infants) should be vaccinated with a measles-containing vaccine before entering American Samoa as of May 2023.

Australia Measles 2023

Western Australia reported its first measles cases in three years on April 20, 2023. And Australia's NSW Health notified people to be alert for symptoms of measles after a Western Sydney infant was diagnosed with the infection. The infant, too young to be vaccinated against measles, acquired the infection in India before returning to Sydney and recently spent time while infectious in Parramatta and Westmead in late March 2023. NSW Health confirmed a local measles case in September 2022.

India Measles Outbreak 2023

To reduce the number of cases, a measles vaccination for children program in Delhi was launched in February 2023. And according to West Bengal data reported for 2022, there were 1,804 measles cases. As a result, the West Bengal Health Department launched a Measles-Rubella Vaccination Campaign on January 9, 2023, focusing on schools. This program was extended into mid-February. Additionally, measles is spreading in Nadapuram, Kozhikode, and Maharashtra in 2023. Between 2019 and 2021, about 56% of children received the recommended two doses of the measles vaccine on schedule, according to India's National Family Health Survey.

Indonesia Measles Outbreak 2023

The WHO confirmed that on April 28, 2023, measles is endemic in Indonesia and is reported yearly. And between January and April 3, 2023, a total of 2,161 suspected measles cases have been reported across 18 of 38 provinces in Indonesia, primarily from the provinces of West Java (796 cases), Central Papua (770 cases), and Banten (197 cases). In 2022, a total of 4845 laboratory-confirmed measles cases and six deaths (CFR 0.1%) were reported across 32 of the 38 provinces. Therefore, based on the current data and available information, the overall risk of measles at the national level is assessed by the WHO as high.

Kentucky Measles Outbreak 2023

As of April 21, 2023, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) confirmed three recent measles cases in 2023. The U.S. CDC issued CDCHAN-00487 on March 3, 2023. On February 24, 2023, the KDPH identified an unvaccinated individual who, while infectious, attended a gathering between February 17–18, 2023, at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. An estimated 20,000 people from Kentucky, other U.S. states, and countries participated in the event. "Anyone who attended the revival on Feb. 18 (Asbury University) may have been exposed to measles," said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the KDPH, in a press release. In addition, a previous measles case was reported in January 2023, in Powell County, Kentucky, without connections to Ohio's outbreak.

On January 20, 2023, Kentucky confirmed a measles case in December 2022 in Christian County that was associated with Ohio's measles outbreak, according to Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services spokesman Brice Mitchell. As a result, Louisville, Kentucky, and the Jefferson County Public Schools are conducting measles vaccination clinics for about 10,000 unvaccinated students in 2023. In addition, on January 20, 2023, local media reported on-campus measles clinics at Iroquois High School, Marion C. Moore School, Newcomer Academy, and Fern Creek High School on February 7, 2023.

Nepal Measles Outbreak 2023

Between November 2022 and March 10, 2023, a total of 690 measles cases, including one associated death (CFR 0.14%), have been reported in Nepal.

Ohio Measles Outbreak 2022

The Health Department of the City of Columbas, Ohio, and Franklin County Public Health (FCPH), reported that since June 2022, there have been (85) confirmed measles cases in children, of which (80) were unvaccinated and (36) were hospitalized as of February 10, 2023.

Paraguay Measles Outbreak 2023

On January 23, 2023, the Paraguay IHR National Focal Point notified the WHO of a confirmed case of measles in the Itapúa Department, Paraguay. Itapúa is close to the southern border of Paraguay with Argentina. Of 181 people surveyed, 107 were vaccinated against measles and rubella, with a coverage of 59%. The official measles vaccination coverage for the first and second doses of MMR in 2021 was reported to be  56% and 55%, respectively,

Philippines Measles Outbreak 2023

The Philippines Department of Health reported the ongoing measles outbreak in 2023 has reached 100. In addition, these. The Philippines reported 589 confirmed measles cases in 2022 and 206 cases in 2021.

South Korea Measles Outbreak 2023

In January 2023, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported a travel-related local measles case. Previously, a measles outbreak with 20 confirmed cases occurred at a children's hospital in Daejeon, South Korea, from March 28 to April 21, 2019. 

United Kingdom Measles Outbreak 2023

The UK Health Security Agency reported from January through April 20, 2023, 49 measles cases have been confirmed, approaching the 54 measles cases reported for all of 2022. Most of the infections were in the greater London area.

Utah Measles Case 2023

Salt Lake County Health Department announced on March 23, 2023, a case of measles in an unvaccinated resident who recently traveled outside the U.S. This is the first case of measles in Utah since 2017.

Measles Outbreak Costs

The AAP's journal Pediatrics published a study in April 2021 that indicates that during a measles outbreak in Washington, costs were $47,479 per case or $814 per contact. And on January 22, 2020, Clinical Infectious Diseases published a meta-study that calculated the median cost per measles case was $32,805 (range, $7,396-$76,154).

Measles Vaccines

As of April 26, 2023, the U.S. CDC published the updated measles vaccination schedule. In addition, various measles vaccines are listed on this Precision Vaccinations webpage.

Measles Vaccination For Travelers

This CDC web tool empowers international travelers to determine whether or not they need a measles vaccination before departure. On November 23, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that nearly forty million children are susceptible to the measles virus.

Measles Treatment

Vitamin A deficiency is a recognized risk factor for severe measles infections. The WHO says children diagnosed with measles should receive two doses of vitamin A supplements, given 24 hours apart. In 2002, there was evidence that the same dose given for two days was associated with a reduced risk of overall mortality and pneumonia-specific mortality. 

The CDC says since there are no approved treatments, people exposed to measles who cannot readily show that they have evidence of immunity against it should be offered post-exposure prophylaxis to potentially provide protection or modify the clinical course of the disease, either administering a measles vaccine within 72 hours or immunoglobulin (IG) within six days of exposure. However, do not simultaneously administer a vaccine and IG, as this practice invalidates the vaccine. 

Measles Outbreak News 2023

April 20, 2023 - South Africa's National Institute for Communicable Diseases reported the percentage of samples testing positive for measles remained at 27% for weeks 13 and 14.

March 23, 2023 - Salt Lake County Health Department confirmed its first case of measles since 2017.

March 3, 2023 - South Africa's measles outbreak continues in 2023.

February 10, 2023 - The State of Ohio confirmed its 85 measles patients in 2022. 

December 7, 2022 - As of October 2022, a total of 15,00 cases of measles have been reported in Somalia since January 2022.

December 1, 2022 - The CDC reported some African countries are reporting increased measles. Therefore, according to the CDC, immunization schedules travelers to Africa, including infants and preschool children, should be fully vaccinated against measles. On October 26, 2022, Victoria reported the fifth measles patient related to overseas travelers in 2022.

November 25, 2022 - Mumbai, India, confirmed the number of suspected measles cases rose to 3,378.