House committee to hold hearing on US measles outbreak
The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold a hearing later this month on the measles outbreak in the U.S.
New York, Texas and Washington have all seen outbreaks this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Those outbreaks have been linked to travelers bringing measles to the U.S. from other countries, and spreading it among communities with groups of people who aren’t vaccinated, the CDC said.
“Measles is a highly contagious, life-threatening virus that was previously eliminated in the United States thanks to the success of the measles vaccine,” the bipartisan leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee said in a statement. “Unfortunately, measles cases are on the rise as a consequence of the virus’s transmission among unvaccinated groups.”
The CDC says there have been 101 confirmed measles cases so far in 2019. More than half of those are in one county in Washington state, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency. Most of those cases affected children.
New York is facing its most severe measles outbreak in decades, with 225 confirmed cases since October. That outbreak is tied to unvaccinated travelers returning from the U.S. from Israel, where there is an ongoing measles outbreak, and has primarily affected unvaccinated adults and children in Orthodox Jewish communities.
Measles has largely been eradicated in the U.S., but it’s still common in places like Europe and Asia.