US measles cases still climbing, topping 800 for year

U.S. health officials said this year's count of measles cases has surpassed 800, a growing tally that is already the nation's highest in 25 years.

A total of 839 cases were reported as of last week. That's the most since 1994, when 963 were reported for the entire year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest numbers Monday.

In all, 23 states, including California, have reported cases this year. The vast majority of illnesses have been in New York - most of them among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities.

That pattern continued last week, with most of the 75 new cases coming from New York.

In California, the latest figures showed 44 confirmed cases, with nine of those in the Bay Area and one in Santa Cruz County, according to the California Department of Public Health. 

Four outbreaks have been linked to patients with international travel, state health officials said.

The last large outbreak of measles in this state was in December 2014-April 2015.

It originated with an infected visitor to Disneyland and led to at least 131 California residents contracting the disease. The outbreak also infected residents of six other states, Mexico, and Canada.

Measles was once common in the U.S. but gradually became rare after vaccination campaigns that started in the 1960s.