April 29 (Reuters) – The United States recorded 78 new measles cases last week for a total of 704 cases so far this year, the greatest number in a quarter century, federal health officials said on Monday. The number was up 1.3 percent since the most recent tally of 695 reported on Wednesday, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 22 states have recorded cases of the extremely contagious and sometimes deadly disease.
The current outbreak has escalated since 82 people in 2018 and more than 40 people in 2019 brought measles to the United States from other countries, most frequently Ukraine, Israel and the Philippines, federal officials said. The disease has spread quickly among unvaccinated children.
The cases have been concentrated in New York City, where officials said more than 390 have been recorded since October, mostly among children in Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn. Most of the recently recorded cases have been in New York and Los Angeles, officials said on Monday. A vocal fringe of U.S. parents oppose vaccines believing, contrary to scientific evidence, that ingredients in them can cause autism or other disorders.