Measles cases 'likely' to break yearly record in just 4 months

Signs warn people of measles in the ultra Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg

Signs warn people of measles in the ultra Orthodox Jewish community of Williamsburg

That figure doesn't include the new cases confirmed in L.A. County.

The Centers for Disease Control said from January 1 to April 11, there were 555 individual cases of measles confirmed in 20 states.

The only year when there were more cases reported in the United States since the disease was eliminated in the U.S.in 2000 was in 2014 - 667.

"We will likely see additional measles cases in Los Angeles County, so it is important if you or someone you know has the symptoms of measles or has been exposed to measles to contact your healthcare provider by phone right away before seeking treatment", said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer.

Outbreaks in NY state continue to drive up the number of U.S. measles cases, which are approaching levels not seen in 25 years. In Butte County, health workers are scrambling to manage both the measles outbreak and the fallout from November's massive wildfire, the Los Angeles Times reported. On top of that, health experts from the University of Alabama Birmingham say there is no anti-viral drug to fight the infection.

These include a local outbreak of four confirmed measles cases linked to one another after global travel and an additional single case of measles after worldwide travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there have been 626 confirmed cases of measles so far this year, an increase of 71 new cases since last week.

Quick, decisive action on the part of the state to prevent unnecessary deaths, in this case, is warranted. Brooklyn officials blame the current outbreak on a rash of voluntarily unvaccinated children, kids of upper-class white residents of Brooklyn, and of a handful of Orthodox Jewish enclaves in the area.

Twenty-two states have reported cases, but the vast majority have been in New York - mainly in New York City and in nearby Rockland County.

State lawmakers have been split on efforts aimed at preventing such outbreaks. While some lawmakers have looked to tighten their states' vaccine exemption laws, including legislators in Washington and ME, others in states such as West Virginia and MS have introduced bills that would expand vaccine exemptions.

Currently, 17 states allow parents to exempt their school-age children from vaccinations for personal, moral or other beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.