April 23, 2019 -- Just a few months into the year, the United States is set to break an annual record for the number of measles cases.
The number of measles cases rose by 71 in the last week and now stands at 626 since Jan. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its weekly update, CNN reported.
That number is just 42 below the 2014 record of 667 cases, the highest number since measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.
"In the coming weeks, 2019 confirmed case numbers will likely surpass 2014 levels," the CDC said on its website Monday, CNN reported.
The update said that Iowa and Tennessee reported measles cases for the first time, bringing the total number of states reporting measles this year to 22. The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.
The state with the highest number of cases is New York, which has the longest ongoing outbreak in the U.S. since 2000. Officials say the outbreak in ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods began in October when an unvaccinated child became infected while visiting Israel, CNN reported.
"Since then, there have been additional people from Brooklyn and Queens who were unvaccinated and acquired measles while in Israel. People who did not travel were also infected in Brooklyn and Rockland County," according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.