There are now 1,001 measles cases according to the agency, 20 more cases than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Monday in its weekly update.
"The number of cases are going up, but the numbers [of new cases per week] are varying a lot", Morse said.
Vaccines are a safe and highly effective public health tool that can prevent measles, says the U.S. health secretary, as the nation grapples with a resurgence of the contagious respiratory disease. The World Health Organization notes that, in temperate regions, measles cases tend to peak in the winter and early spring, which would suggest that the accumulation of new cases will now fall off from the levels seen earlier this year. It is the highest number of cases since 1992, when the CDC recorded 2,126 cases.
Most of those cases have been in Orthodox Jewish communities In Brooklyn and Queens with low vaccination rates.
Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services also said the total number of measles cases reported in the country could have been reduced by giving vaccines to the people at the right time.
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Once a person has measles, about 90% of close contacts who are susceptible to it will develop the disease.
Key symptoms to look out for include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes, tiny white spots in the mouth and a red rash on the face that spreads to the extremities.
"We cannot say this enough: Vaccines are a safe and highly effective public health tool that can prevent this disease and end the current outbreak", Azar said.
In response to the outbreak, CDC has developed a toolkit with resources to increase public awareness and address safety concerns associated with the vaccines, stemming from misinformation.
Since then, health officials say they've given more than 3,300 measles (MMR) vaccines and held special clinics in the affected areas. "I encourage all Americans to talk to your doctor about what vaccines are recommended to protect you, your family, and your community from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases".