ATLANTA (September 12, 2013)—This year already is one of the worst years for measles in more than 15 years, federal health officials said Thursday.
So far this year, officials have confirmed 159 cases, the most since the mid-1990s.
Officials confirmed 222 cases in 2011.
Before a vaccine became available about 50 years ago, nearly all children got measles by their 15th birthdays, and, nearly 500 Americans died from measles annually.
About 60 cases are typically confirmed annually now.
Most young children are vaccinated against measles, but outbreaks still occur, usually when travelers pick up the measles virus abroad and then spread it among unvaccinated people here.
Nearly all of this year's cases have been traced to travelers.