Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Largest Measles Outbreak In Decades Spread To 22 States

Measles, the serious disease ravaging Orthodox Jewish communities in New York, has spread to 22 states across the U.S. in the worst measles outbreak in nearly two decades.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, authorities have reported 695 measles cases this year, from New Hampshire to Washington state..

Travelers are introducing the disease to new states. All 43 cases in Michigan are the result of one infected man who traveled to Detroit from Brooklyn not knowing he was ill, according to the Washington Post.

And as recently as Thursday morning, authorities in Alabama warned that a traveler passing through the state two weeks ago may have exposed people at two facilities along I-59.

“Measles is not a harmless childhood illness, but a highly contagious, potentially life-threatening disease,” Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar said in a statement on Wednesday. “We have the ability to safely protect our children and our communities. Vaccines are a safe, highly effective public health solution that can prevent this disease.”

The Forward reported last week that doctors in Willamsburg, Brooklyn, where nearly half of the nationwide measles cases have occurred, have had some success vaccinating unvaccinated patients, though hardline vaccine skeptics are digging in.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected] or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.