The number of measles cases in the U.S. is approaching its highest since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Monday.
So far in 2019, 626 cases have been reported, 41 less than the current record of 667 cases in 2014.
“In the coming weeks, 2019 confirmed case numbers will likely surpass 2014 levels,” the CDC said in its weekly update.
The agency said the majority of people affected have not been vaccinated, which has led to an unprecedented spread of the disease throughout the country.
There are outbreaks in Butte County, California and Rockland County in New York State, New York City and the states of Michigan, New Jersey and Washington.
The highest number of cases were reported in New York, where there was an outbreak in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.
About one or two out of every 1,000 people who get measles will die from the disease, according to the CDC but the illness has not caused a death in the U.S. since 2015.