HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed 16 cases of measles so far in 2019, compared to just two cases in 2018.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 1,250 cases of measles reported across the United States this year. That is the largest number of cases since 1992.
The CDC has partly blamed the rise in measles cases on a spread of misinformation about the safety of vaccines, saying in an April press release, “CDC also encourages local leaders to provide accurate, scientific-based information to counter misinformation.”
The Health Department is stepping up efforts to spread the word that vaccines are safe and effective.
”We’re going to continue to do outreach around measles and vaccinations to help people realize that they are safe, they are effective,” said Brittany Lauffer, a Health spokeswoman.
“You’re not only protecting yourself, but you are protecting those who can not receive the vaccines, such as children, those with serious health complications. It’s really not just protecting yourself, but protecting others.”
Recent measles cases in Allentown and York originated in the United States. The other cases in Pennsylvania this year originated overseas.