Science and Tech


CDC warns of 'imported' measles as US deals with cases

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is concerned about the upcoming spring travel season spreading the airborne disease.
Posted at 3:05 PM, Feb 23, 2024

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning ahead of the busy spring travel season as health officials around the globe focus on preventing outbreaks of the viral disease. 

On Friday, a U.S. official who spoke on background to Scripps News said U.S. health authorities have increased their attention on monitoring cases as they have detected incidents of measles infections now in every region of the world. 

The CDC is particularly worried about potential "imported" cases as numbers of travelers are expected to increase in airports, planes, trains, shopping malls and other enclosed spaces where the highly contagious airborne disease could spread. 

World Health Organization officials and UNICEF say measles can be easily prevented with routine childhood vaccines. Global public health officials are working to increase funding for the Vaccine Alliance, which helps provide vaccine doses to more underserved areas of the world.

Over half the world at risk of measles outbreaks, WHO warns
Vial with measles vaccine

Over half the world at risk of measles outbreaks, WHO warns

The rapid spread of the potentially fatal and once-eradicated disease is blamed partly on missed vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In a statement to Scripps News, the CDC said, "The World Health Organization has noted a significant increase in measles cases worldwide, with a 30-fold increase in Europe. This includes popular international tourist destinations for Americans, like England. With spring break-related travel set to ramp up in the weeks ahead, there’s a strong likelihood that we’ll see more cases in the U.S."

The CDC says that anyone that hasn't been fully vaccinated against measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) should make sure their vaccinations are fully up to date at least two weeks before any travel. 

The CDC said that as of Feb. 22, there have been a total of 35 measles cases reported by 15 U.S. jurisdictions in states including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.