With a new 60 cases registered, 2019 is clearly the worst outbreak since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.
In a statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Thursday, professionals said, “ "If these outbreaks continue through summer and fall, the United States may lose its measles elimination status. That loss would be a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health."
"The measles elimination goal, first announced in 1963 and accomplished in 2000, was a monumental task,” the CDC said.
An annual rate of three to four million U.S. citizens was diagnosed with the infectious disease in the past. These led to 400-500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations.
Immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Anthony Fauci, urged legislators to increase efforts towards implementing and enforcing preventative measures.
"I consider it an irony that you have one of the most contagious viruses known to man juxtaposed against one of the most effective vaccines they have.
"Yet we don't do and have not done what could be done — namely eliminate, eradicate the virus," Fauci told BBC.
Public health officials have blamed the measles resurgence on the spread of misinformation about vaccines, as a vocal fringe of parents oppose vaccines, believing, contrary to scientific studies, that ingredients in them can cause autism.