In March 1990, a large measles outbreak began in New York City. Through December 1990, approximately 2500 cases and eight measles-associated deaths were reported. However, since January 1991, transmission has increased; through May 7, more than 2000 cases and nine deaths were reported to the New York City Department of Health (NYCDH) in 1991.
Preliminary data are available for the first 2084 cases reported in 1991. Of these patients, 1383 (66%) were <5 years of age, of whom 735 (53%) were <12 months of age. Most cases have occurred among black and Hispanic children; more than 70% of cases have been reported from the Bronx and Brooklyn. Transmission has also occurred among prisoners in the city jail system and among both patients and medical staff in some local hospitals.
To control the outbreak, NYCDH officials have recommended an additional dose of measles vaccine for 6- to 11-month-old children, have made