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Measles now in more states

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Cases of measles continue to appear in new states, with Tennessee the latest to report a case, the Tennessean reported on May 5. The measles patient is an adult with a history of travel overseas. The Tennessee Department of Health told the paper that the patient is resting at home after a brief hospitalization. They are not releasing the patient's county of residence to protect their privacy.

The public health authorities in Tennessee have contacted everyone they believe at risk of infection. Immunizations have been provided and there have been no additional measles cases.

The largest number of measles cases in 2014 has been in California. The California Department of Public Health has received reports of 59 measles cases through May 2. Reports have come in from 12 counties, with Orange County reporting 22 cases, the highest county total thus far.

Ohio is reporting the second highest number of cases of measles in 2014, linked to the large Amish community in the state. Through May 5, the state reports 35 cases from six counties. Patients range in age between one and 50, and a few have been hospitalized.

The Centers for Disease Control report that, through April 25, they had received reports of 154 measles cases from 14 states. That total, for just under four months, places 2014 third is total cases by year since 2001. Only the complete years of 2011 and 2013 had more measles cases. The lag in CDC reporting is normal and the actual number of measles cases through May 5 is higher.

A report published by the CDC on April 25 details some of their findings in the California measles outbreak. They looked at 58 reported cases of measles in patients ages five months to sixty years. Almost all of the patients, 54 in total, either caught their illnesses overseas or from contacts who had been overseas.

Three of the patients were infants and too young for immunization. Just 11 patients were found to have documented measles vaccinations and four others had immunization confirmed by blood testing. The rest were never immunized, 25 patients, or could not document any immunizations, 18 patients.

Healthcare settings provided little safety. In 11 cases, patients became infected with measles in a medical setting of some sort. Health-care personnel who became ill account for six of those cases.

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