HealthDay News — The number of reported measles cases in the United States climbed to 839 as of last week, the highest yearly total in 25 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
That number is the highest since 1994, when 963 cases were reported in the entire year, according to the Associated Press. Measles cases have been reported in 23 states so far this year. Many of the cases have been among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities in New York, the CDC said. Last week, most of the 75 new cases were in New York.
In other measles news, most people aboard a Church of Scientology cruise ship under quarantine are now immune to the disease and can leave the ship, Curacao health officials say.
Izzy Gerstenbluth, M.D., head of the Epidemiology and Research Unit at the Curacao Ministry of Health, said Saturday that 91 percent of those aboard the “Freewinds” had been found to be protected against measles, CNN reported. Gerstenbluth explained that 199 of the 216 crew members and 91 of the 102 passengers had proof of vaccination or immunity demonstrated by sufficient levels of antibodies against measles. However, some of those aboard were still in isolation and three crew members and one passenger were being retested at a local laboratory, Gerstenbluth said. It is likely the quarantine will be lifted on Monday, he added.