US measles cases surpass 1,000 this year

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(CNN) – The number of cases of measles in the United States this year has surpassed 1,000, the US Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday. The agency said there have been 1,001 cases so far this year.

That’s 20 more cases than the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention reported on Monday in its weekly national update.

“The 1,000th case of a preventable disease like measles is a troubling reminder of how important that work is to the public health of the nation,” US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

He noted that the Department of Health and Human Services and its agencies are continuing “to support local health departments and healthcare providers in responding to this situation, with the ultimate goal of stopping the outbreak and the spread of misinformation about vaccines, and increasing the public’s confidence in vaccines to help all Americans live healthier lives, safe from vaccine-preventable diseases.”

The number of cases this year is the highest since 1992 when there were 2,237 cases of the highly contagious illness reported in the United States. It’s the highest number of cases in a single year since it was eliminated nationwide in 2000.

Cases have been reported in more than half of US states.

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