A one-dose bottle of measles, mumps and rubella virus vaccine, made by MERCK
Credit: George Frey / Getty

Despite having a very effective and easily available vaccine, measles outbreaks have continued to pop up in the United States over the last two decades.

Most recently, there have been eight cases confirmed in Philadelphia since December 2023, all among unvaccinated individuals. Additionally, a person with measles traveled through D.C.-area airports and cases have been identified in DelawareNew Jersey and Washington state, according to local reports.

In 2023, there were 41 confirmed cases of measles, according to incomplete data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While the number of measles cases in the past few years are not at record highs and the 2023 numbers are lower than recent years, the fact that outbreaks are still occurring is a trend that concerns health officials and experts.

Measles was declared eliminated in 2000 — meaning the disease “is no longer […]

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