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US risks losing measles elimination status with record cases

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The United States risks losing its measles “elimination status” if current outbreaks continue, US health authorities said Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Thursday there have been 971 cases of measles reported in the US so far this year, which means more people have caught the disease in the last five months than in any entire calendar year since 1992, which saw 963 reported cases.

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Authorities declared measles eliminated in the US in 2000, a goal set in 1966 with the introduction of the vaccine.

Measles is considered eliminated when there is an absence of continuous disease transmission for 12 months or more in a specific geographic area, according to the CDC.

An ongoing outbreak in and around New York City that started last fall is threatening the US’s “elimination status” — if it continues for four more months, the country will no longer be able to say it has eliminated measles.

AFP /Measles

Even though the New York mayor began requiring city residents in heavily affected areas, many with large Orthodox Jewish communities, to be vaccinated starting in April, the city still had 173 cases that month and 60 in May.

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The US has never counted zero measles cases. Since 2000, the number has fluctuated between a few dozen and a few hundred cases per year, with 667 cases recorded during a 2014 outbreak in Ohio, especially in Amish communities.

The disease’s resurgence can mostly be traced back to un- or under-vaccinated travelers who brought the infection back with them from abroad — that’s what happened last year when cases were reported throughout the country, originating from the Philippines, Israel and Ukraine.

“Measles is preventable and the way to end this outbreak is to ensure that all children and adults who can get vaccinated, do get vaccinated,” said CDC director Robert Redfield.

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“Again, I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism. The greater danger is the disease that vaccination prevents.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Conservative columnist blasts GOP as ‘partisan hacks for whom hypocrisy is second-nature’

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On Tuesday, President Donald Trump once again ripped into The Squad, this time to undercut an emotional press conference in which Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MN) described the conditions her Palestinian relatives live under.

“Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long,” the president tweeted. “Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!”

Sorry, I don’t buy Rep. Tlaib’s tears. I have watched her violence, craziness and, most importantly, WORDS, for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite. She and her 3 friends are the new face of the Democrat Party. Live with it!

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‘They’re with me all the way’: Trump uses Log Cabin Endorsement as shield when asked about destroying LGBT rights

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President Donald Trump has not publicly acknowledged the early endorsement he received late last week from the gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans, but he was quick to mention it when asked about his record of destroying the civil rights of LGBTQ people.

Trump bragged, “they’re with me all the way, and I just got a big endorsement from the Log Cabin group,” during a Tuesday afternoon press gaggle, according to pool reports.

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Convicted Cardinal Pell’s fate hangs on appeal

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An Australian court will rule on George Pell's appeal against child sex abuse charges Wednesday, when the convicted cardinal could walk free or begin a new round in his protracted legal fight.

Once the Vatican's third-ranking official, 78-year-old Pell was sentenced this year to six years in jail for sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys at a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s.

After more than two months of deliberations, a three-judge appeals panel will hand down their decision.

Pell is the most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse, making his case and Wednesday's ruling a touchstone moment for believers and victims groups around the world.

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