The CDC released its most recent measles number on Friday, revealing that more than 700 cases have now been confirmed in the United States. The latest figure underscores the rapid rise of this highly contagious disease, which is at the highest it has been in any single year since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000. Amid the concerning outbreak comes vaccination support from a very unlikely source.
Until now, the highest number of annual cases after the 2000 eradication milestone happened in 2014 with 667 confirmed cases. The US exceeded that record high in less than four months, highlighting a very concerning outbreak originating from clusters of unvaccinated people. April 2019 will end with more than 700 confirmed cases across 22 states, according to the CDC.
In light of the rapid uptick in cases, President Donald Trump reversed his previous stance on vaccinations and their supposed link to autism, instead urging the public to get their kids vaccinated. “They have to get the shots,” Trump told CNN on Friday, also saying, “This is really going around now,” in reference to measles.
In addition, actress Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, recently criticized anti-vaxers for their use of a show clip in which Marcia proclaimed that “you sure can’t beat the measles.” McCormick commented on her actual real-life measles experience, telling CNN that it spread through her family and was “not a fun thing.”
Measles is highly contagious; it can be spread through coughing and sneezing, among other things, with symptoms appearing a couple weeks after exposure. Though there’s no treatment to get rid of measles once contracted, the disease is highly preventable via the MMR vaccination, which is administered in two doses.