Q: What does it mean that measles was “eliminated” from the United States?

Measles eliminationis defined as the absence of continuous disease transmission for 12 months or more in a specific geographic area. Although there are current outbreaks, measles is no longer endemic (constantly present) in the United States.

In 2000, the U.S. declared that measles was eliminated from this country. The U.S. was able to eliminate measles because it has a highly effective measles vaccine, a strong vaccination program that achieves high vaccine coverage in children and a strong public health system for detecting and responding to measles cases and outbreaks.