Worldwide Measles Spotlight

Worldwide Measles Spotlight: Week Ending January 26, 2019

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

During the week ending January 26, 2019, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other news sources reported significant increases in measles cases during 2019. 

The greatest number of measles cases reported during 2019 has been in the country of Ukraine, where 3,450 cases were confirmed. This data increases Ukraine’s 2019 total to 8,498 cases.  

Previously, Ukrainian health officials reported 54,481 measles cases during 2018.     

Listed below are the Measles Spotlight updates for the week ending January 26, 2019: 


  • Atlanta, GA:  2 people in Atlanta have been treated for measles during January 2019. 
  • New Jersey:  The New Jersey Department of Health declared the measles outbreak in Ocean and Passaic counties over. A total of 33 outbreak-associated cases were identified. 
  • New York City: As of January 23, 2019, there have been 62 confirmed cases of measles in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn since October 2018. 
  • Oregon: The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed 1 case of measles in a resident of Multnomah County.  
  • Rockland County, NY:  As of January 17, 2019, there were 116 confirmed reported measles cases by the county health department. 
  • Rochester, NY:  The Monroe County Department of Public Health confirmed on January 25, 2019, that 2 elementary school students have been laboratory-confirmed with measles.  
  • Vancouver, Washington: Clark County Public Health has identified 32 confirmed cases and 9 suspect measles cases during 2019. 

The Americas

  • The PAHO reported 16,039 confirmed cases of measles, including 86 deaths, in 12 countries of the Region of the Americas during 2018. 
  • Brazil: 376 additional measles cases have been reported during 2019. 
  • Columbia: The PAHO supports 4 full-time vaccinators in the city of Arauca to manage the inflow of Venezuelans.  
  • Costa Rica:  is carrying out a special vaccination program for children between 15 months and under 10 years old. 
  • Honduras: The Honduran Ministry of Health said that there were approximately 3,266,931 adults (34% of the total population) susceptible to measles and mumps because they never received the MMR vaccine as children. 
  • Venezuela: Due to the collapse of the health system, the CDC recommends all travelers to Venezuela be up to date on the MMR vaccine.


  • Australia: 11 measles cases reported in NSW during 2019. 
  • Chile: 24 measles cases were reported in January 2019. 
  • England: Public Health England published its measles and rubella elimination strategy for 2019.
  • Georgia:  The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and Public Health stated that 312 cases of measles were reported during 2019.  
  • Israel:  In response to the 2018 measles outbreak throughout Israel, doctors have issued notices during 2019 that unvaccinated children are prohibited from attending school until MMR vaccination proof is provided. 
  • Kazakhstan: The CDC issued a Level 1 Travel Alert on January 22, 2019, in response to a measles virus outbreak in the country of Kazakhstan
  • Madagascar:  From 4 October 2018 to 7 January 2019, 19,539 measles cases and 39 “facility-based” deaths were confirmed by the WHO. 
  • Poland: The National Institute of Hygiene recorded 339 infections in 2018, with most of the cases reported during November and December.
  • Portugal: The Directorate General of Health announced 37 measles cases have been confirmed since November 2018.
  • South Korea: A total of 30 confirmed measles were reported on January 21st.  
  • Thailand:  285 measles cases including one death have been reported from 31 provinces during 2019. 
  • Ukraine: health officials report an additional 3,450 cases (1,502 adults and 1,948 children) during the third week of 2019, bringing the total to 8,498 cases to date. Ukraine announced a quarantine at the Lukyanivska pre-trial detention center due to a measles outbreak, according to Ukrainian media.  
  • Vietnam:  The Preventive Medicine Department in Ho Chi Minh City has reported 60 measles cases during 2019. 

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, without specific antiviral treatment available. Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body, says the CDC. 

Measles was prematurely declared eliminated in the USA during 2000, and by the PAHO during 2016. 

During 2018, the WHO reported only 4 of 30 EU/EEA countries had reached the 95 percent vaccination target for the 2nd vaccine dose. During 2017, there were 110,000 measles deaths reported globally by the WHO, mostly among children under the age of 5 years old.   

In the USA, there were 349 individual cases of measles confirmed by the CDC during 2018.   

Most of these measles cases were related to international travel, says the CDC.   

Measles is often brought into the United States by unvaccinated people who become infected in other countries, says the CDC. These international travelers then spread measles upon their return, which cause outbreaks in the USA. 

To prevent measles outbreaks, at least 95 percent immunization coverage with 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine is needed every year, 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.

Our Trust Standards: Medical Advisory Committee