The national outbreak of measles is ongoing. Since January 1, 2019 over 700 cases of measles have occurred in 22 states. Colorado has not yet been directly impacted from this outbreak as only one case has occurred here since January. However, public health is well aware of the ongoing risk of having measles introduced into our state. For some areas such as California and New York City, the outbreaks are still not under control. Most measles cases this year have occurred in unvaccinated persons and outbreaks are being sustained in unvaccinated communities.
The national outbreak is of great concern and represents the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. Vaccination rates of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine are low enough in many schools and child care centers in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties to potentially sustain an outbreak in Colorado. We are contacting school district and individual school leadership to provide information to prevent a measles outbreak.