May 20 (UPI) -- Measles cases in the United States rose to 880 last week, to the highest level in 25 years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.
The CDC said in an update Monday another 41 cases were recorded, down from the 75 new illnesses reported the week before.
Twenty-four states have reported cases since the outbreak began, with Oklahoma experiencing its first cases last week. Included in the outbreak are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington.
The CDC said seven states are contributing most of the cases: California, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.
"These outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines, where large measles outbreaks are occurring," the CDC said.
The number of cases this year is more than double the number for the entire 2018, which was 372, and the most since 950 cases were reported in 1994. The disease was declared eradicated from the United States in 2000.
The agency said most of the people who have caught the measles this year were not vaccinated.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization said more than 34,000 people in Europe were infected with the disease during the first two months of the year, a three-fold increase from the same time in 2018.
The symptoms of measles usually appear between seven and 14 days after infection. The signs include high fever, couch, runny nose, rash, and red, watery eyes.