We are in the middle of a global measles crisis. Cases have soared across the world, including in places where measles had previously been eliminated — like the United States. In this year to date, the United States has already seen its second-greatest number of cases since 2000. And this past week, New York City declared a public health emergency due to the rapid spread of the virus.
Behind each of these outbreaks, an alarming picture unfurls. In just the first three months of 2019, there have been more than 110,000 measles cases reported worldwide, a figure that is up nearly 300% from the same period last year. And these numbers will represent just a fraction of all the cases that occur. By the time you finish reading this, we estimate that at least 40 people — most of them children — will be infected by this fast-moving, life-threatening disease.