Worldwide Measles Spotlight

Worldwide Measles Spotlight:  Week Ending January 19, 2019

Measles outbreaks reported during 2019 by the CDC, PAHO, and WHO
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International (Vax Before Travel)

During the week ending January 19, 2019, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the World Health Organization (WHO) reported significant increases in measles cases from various countries during 2019. 

Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. 

During January 2019, countries such as Brazil, Madagascar, and Ukraine reported significant measles outbreaks. 

Listed below are the Week Ending January 19, 2019 updates:


  • In the United States, most measles cases are related to international travel. The disease is brought into the United States by unvaccinated people who become infected in other countries. These international travelers then spread measles upon their return, which cause outbreaks in the USA.
  • On January 10, 2019, the CDC reported 349 individual cases of measles were confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia during 2018. This is the 2nd greatest number of annual cases reported since measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. The greatest was 667 cases reported in 2014. 
  • A total of 17 outbreaks (defined as 3 or more linked cases) were reported by the CDC during 2018.
  • The majority of these measles outbreaks are associated with international travelers who brought measles back from Israel, Italy, France and the United Kingdom, where large outbreaks are occurring.
  • During 2019, 3 ongoing measles outbreaks continue to report new cases: New York State, New York City, and New Jersey.
  • On January 19, 2019, Clark County Washington Public Health officials confirmed 19 cases and five suspect cases during 2019. 
  • During 2018, the CDC has issued numerous Level 1 Travel Alerts regarding measles outbreak in various countries.
  • Newark International Airport reports its 3rd measles alert during 2018. The NJ Health Commissioner said ‘If you were in the airport on December 24th, between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. EST, you may have been exposed to measles. Previously, Newark Airport reported measles exposures on March 15th and January 13, 2018


  • As of epidemiological week (EW) #2 of 2019, a total of 16,039 confirmed measles cases, including 86 deaths, were been reported in 12 countries of the Region of the Americas, during 2018.
  • Brazil, between EW 6 of 2018 and EW 2 of 2019, reported a total of 10,274 confirmed cases, including 12 deaths.
  • Chile, between EW #45 of 2018 and EW #2 of 2019, reported 24 confirmed measles cases, of which 7 were imported and 17 were import-related.
  • Venezuela, between EW #26 of 2017 and EW #52 of 2018, reported 6,395 confirmed measles cases (727 in 2017 and 5,668 in 2018).


  • The total number of confirmed measles cases for 2018 exceeds the 12-month totals reported for every other year this decade. Over 41,000 children and adults in the WHO European Region have been infected with measles in the first 6 months of 2018. The monthly country reports also indicate that at least 37 people have died due to measles so far in 2018.
  • Seven countries in this WHO Region have seen over 1,000 infections in children and adults this year (France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, the Russian Federation, Serbia, and Ukraine).
  • According to the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 49,518 people (18,297 adults and 31,221 children) have been diagnosed with the measles virus in Ukraine during 2018. 
  • From October 2018 to January 7, 2019, the Ministry of Public Health of Madagascar reported 19,539 measles cases and 39 “facility-based” deaths. 
  • On January 15th, 2019, the New Delhi High Court stopped the implementation of the ‘Measles and Rubella Vaccine Immunization Campaign.' At least 220 million children from 30 India states and union territories have already been vaccinated under the nationwide campaign that started in 2017.   

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is a vaccine-preventable disease. To prevent measles outbreaks, at least 95 percent immunization coverage with 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine is needed in every community, says the CDC.

In the USA, there are 2 approved measles vaccines, MMR-II and ProQuad. 

International travelers can request a vaccine appointment with a pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information.

And, measles vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, similar to medications, can cause side effects, says the CDC. Significant vaccine side effects should be reported to the CDC.