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Cases of measles have been cropping up in Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington with additional cases reported in the past week in Ohio and Maryland. In the Maryland case, the department of health warned the public about possible exposure at Dulles International Airport. Officials in Philadelphia at the end of January confirmed at least 9 known cases in that city alone. It’s concerning because measles was declared eliminated in 2000 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), attributable to vaccines and herd immunity. In all of 2023, a total of 58 measles cases were reported in 20 states, however, in just the first 25 days of 2024, a total of 9 measles cases were recorded in 4 states, as per CDC data. As an acute viral respiratory illness, measles can be characterized by fever as high as 40.5°C and malaise, coryza, cough, conjunctivitis, and a maculopapular rash. As many as 90% of susceptible people with close contact to an infected measles patient will develop the disease, CDC says.

Consider the possibility: CDC is now alerting providers to consider a potential measles diagnosis for patients who have fever and rashes and have traveled abroad. The United Kingdom recently confirmed 216 measles cases from October 2023 through mid-January 2024.

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