Officials: Measles tally doubled in the past month

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Measles outbreaks seem to be accelerating, and in the last five months have caused more U.S. illnesses than in any entire year since 1996.

Health officials say 307 cases have been reported since New Year's Day. About half have been in the past month — most from a huge outbreak in unvaccinated Amish communities in Ohio.

Meanwhile in California, the measles outbreak has effectively been contained. The Golden State has reported 60 cases of measles since the beginning of the year, but in early May a state health official confirmed there was no more local transmission of the disease.

RELATED: Health officials must become detectives to contain measles

A number of the cases have been linked to travelers who caught the virus abroad and spread it in the United States among unvaccinated people. Many of the travelers had been to the Philippines, where a recent measles epidemic has caused more than 30,000 illnesses.

RELATED: Of 58 measles cases in CA, 19 were intentionally unvaccinated

Most of the unvaccinated skipped shots for personal or philosophical reasons. In California, at least 25 people sickened with measles were unvaccinated, and at least 19 of them were intentionally not vaccinated, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the new numbers Thursday.

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