How ‘completely avoidable’ measles cases continue to climb

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has counted more measles cases in the first two months of this year than in all of 2017, and part of the rising threat is misinformation that makes some parents balk at a crucial vaccine, federal health officials told Congress at a hearing Wednesday.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing bemoaned what’s called “vaccine hesitancy,” meaning when people refuse or delay vaccinations.

The disease was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but cases have been rising in recent years, and 2019 is shaping up to be a bad one.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 159 cases so far this year in 10 states. That compares to 372 cases last year, and 120 in 2017.

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