Measles: Centuries Old Disease Causing 21st Century Public Health Crisis
Resurgence of a disease that was “eliminated” from the United States in 2000
In medical history, measles was 1st identified as a unique disease by the Persian physician Rhazes in the 9th century when he published the text titled The Book of Smallpox and Measles. Measles is an ancient disease that used to have a profound global impact causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of cases each year. In the 16th century, a measles epidemic caused the deaths of two-thirds of the population of Cuba in one year, and two years later, it killed half the population of Honduras. In the 1850’s, a measles outbreak caused the death of 20% of the population of Hawaii. From 1840-1990, it is estimated that measles has killed approximately 200 million people worldwide.
Measles: Highly Contagious Disease Reaches New Epidemic Levels
Measles is Back and it’s Entirely Our Fault
If you haven’t heard by now, the measles virus is on the rise in the United States. As of May 23, 2014, 288 cases have been reported in 18 states with 15 distinct outbreaks making up 79% of the reported cases this year.