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Measles cluster emerges in Kansas City area

Andrew Lynch, on Fox4KC, is reporting that Kansas and Missouri public health officials are concerned about a newly emerging cluster of measles in the Kansas City area. His June 9 piece reveals that the states have received confirmation on 13 cases and suspect two more. The breakdown by state is not yet available.

Comparison of total measles cases reported by year in the United States from 2001 to 2014.
Comparison of total measles cases reported by year in the United States from 2001 to 2014.
CDC / public domain

The cluster appears to have begun with an unvaccinated infant in Clay County MO which spread to an adult and another child. Following that, an adult and a child in Johnson County KS were also diagnosed. Lynch's reporting confirms an additional eight cases related to these five.

A compilation of public health and media reports shows that the total number of measles cases in the United States is 445. This total includes the eight new cases in the Kansas City metro area. It does not include any from Utah, where the CDC states there have been cases. Inquiries to Utah public health officials have not received a response.

The Ohio measles outbreak continues to grow. The state has now received confirmation of 287 measles cases from seven counties. The June 9 total is up 38 cases from the June 6 total. The case count represents 65 percent of all the cases in the United States in 2014.

Through June 6, the Centers for Disease Control are reporting 397 measles cases from 20 states. It does not include the most recent cases from Ohio and the Kansas City region.

The Philippines has been suffering a measles epidemic in 2014. The destruction from Typhoon Haiyan in the late fall left the islands with little infrastructure and few resources. Most of the measles cases in the United States, including the Ohio outbreak, can be traced to travelers from the Philippines. The CDC reports 70 deaths due to measles and about 40,000 total cases in the country through May 26.

The CDC has also issued a travel notice for Vietnam based upon the high number of cases in that country in 2014. Through mid-April, the country had reported 112 measles deaths and about 8,700 cases.

The Kansas City cluster is just the latest outbreak tied to travel overseas by unvaccinated individuals. In this case, the infant who was the index case was not vaccinated. The Ohio outbreak, the outbreak in late winter in southern California and one of the two small outbreaks in the state of Washington also began with travelers who were not vaccinated.