HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a press release that the rising number of cases is "troubling".
In its latest update, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 971 measles cases have been confirmed across 26 states between January 1 and May 31 of this year.
The announcement comes days after authorities declared the USA was in danger of losing its "elimination status" on the contagious respiratory disease if the current outbreaks continue. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!
The disease's resurgence can mostly be traced back to un- or under-vaccinated travelers who brought the infection back with them from overseas - that's what happened previous year when cases were reported throughout the country, originating from the Philippines, Israel and Ukraine. Forty of the 44 confirmed measles cases in MI occurred in Oakland County, and infected individuals ranged in age from eight months to 63 years old.More news: Microsoft Launches Xbox-branded Shower Gel, Deodorant, Body Spray
The US has never counted zero measles cases.
Azar also said the agency has been stressing on the effectiveness and safety of vaccines, "amid concerning signs that there are pockets of undervaccination around the country".
Cases have been reported in more than half of USA states.
This year's record number of cases has been largely fueled by hotbeds in New York City and Rockland County, New York, where cases have continued for seven months among ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities which typically do not vaccinate their children.More news: UFC 238: Cejudo vs
Since then, health officials say they've given more than 3,300 measles (MMR) vaccines and held special clinics in the affected areas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,001 people have been sickened by the contagious disease in 2019.
"We cannot say this enough: Vaccines are a safe and highly effective public health tool that can prevent this disease and end the current outbreak", he added. "I encourage all Americans to talk to your doctor about what vaccines are recommended to protect you, your family, and your community from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases".More news: Kroger recalls frozen berry medleys that may be contaminated with HEPATITIS A