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Measles - United States, January 1-May 23, 2014.

Measles is a highly contagious, acute viral illness that can lead to serious complications and death. Although measles elimination (i.e., interruption of year-round endemic transmission) was declared in the United States in 2000, importations of measles cases from endemic areas of the world continue to occur, leading to secondary measles cases and outbreaks in the United States, primarily among unvaccinated persons. To update national measles data in the United States, CDC evaluated cases reported by states from January 1 through May 23, 2014. A total of 288 confirmed measles cases have been reported to CDC, surpassing the highest reported yearly total of measles cases since elimination (220 cases reported in 2011). Fifteen outbreaks accounted for 79% of cases reported, including the largest outbreak reported in the United States since elimination (138 cases and ongoing). The large number of cases this year emphasizes the need for health-care providers to have a heightened awareness of the potential for measles in their communities and the importance of vaccination to prevent measles.

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