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Nearly 400 measles cases in United States

The number of measles cases reported in the United States in 2014 reached 399 on June 6. An announcement from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) states that two cases of the contagious respiratory illness have been confirmed in Johnson County. This number represents the highest total in the U.S. since 1996, when 508 illnesses were reported for the entire year.

Daniela Chavarriaga holds her daughter, Emma Chavarriaga, as pediatrician Jose Rosa-Olivares, M.D. administers a measles vaccination during a visit to the Miami Children's Hospital on June 02, 2014 in Miami, Florida
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In Ohio, the Department of Health reported that the total number of measles cases in its current outbreak reached 249 on June 6. The illnesses were first diagnosed in early April and Ohio now has the largest outbreak of measles in the nation in well over a decade. Almost all the illnesses remain confined to the large Amish community in the Knox County OH region.

The Daily Record is reporting that a team from the Centers for Disease Control has been on the ground for about a week in the measles outbreak area. The team has identified at least 40 previously unreported measles cases. Holmes County Health Commissioner Dr. D.J. McFadden told the paper "We have had reliable resources share with us many times there are families in Wayne County that are sick with the measles, who do not and will not seek medical care."

The Record has discovered that over 8,000 measles immunizations have been given since the outbreak began. The majority of the shots have been given in Holmes and Wayne counties. Knox County, which has the largest number of cases, is reporting having given 1,800 immunizations.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is warning of a possible measles exposure in Dauphin County. The illness has not been confirmed and the state has released no other information about the presumptive patient.

The is little sign the the Ohio measles outbreak is nearly an end. The continuing spread of infections there, and the continued importation of measles cases by travelers overseas will mean an ever increasing number of infections, hospitalizations and the risk for death.

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