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U.S. records no new measles cases for first week since outbreak began

Credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR

There were no new cases of measles recorded in the United States last week, federal health officials said on Monday, marking the first time since the outbreak began last fall that the country has recorded a week without the disease spreading.

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Sept 16 (Reuters) - There were no new cases of measles recorded in the United States last week, federal health officials said on Monday, marking the first time since the outbreak began last fallthat the country has recorded a week without the disease spreading.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had recorded 1,241 cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease in 31 states as of Sept. 12. (http://bit.ly/2miVZvw)

The current outbreak of measles is the worst to hit the country since 1992.

The weekly increase in the number of cases has tapered down over the last few months, dropping to 7 new cases last week. The report of zero new cases is the latest indication that the outbreak is petering out after dozens of cases were reported per week earlier this year.

The disease was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, meaning there was no continuous transmission of the disease for a year. Still, cases of the virus occur and spread via travelers coming from countries where measles is common.

Failure to vaccinate poses a public health risk to vulnerable people unable to receive the vaccine, health officials have warned.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York and Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Nick Zieminski)

((Tamara.Mathias@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 806749 1208;))

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