According to state health officials, the number of measles cases in Indiana in February rose to 17 on Monday, with a new case linked to an unvaccinated person who travelled to a foreign country.
The new case was confirmed in Adams County in northeast Indiana, though officials have said it was not related to a rare outbreak of 16 cases confirmed in central Indiana, Fox News reports.
While measles is relatively rare in the United States due to high vaccination rates, last year saw the highest U.S. numbers for measles cases since 1996. There were 222 cases and 17 outbreaks in 2011, with one of the outbreaks occurring in Indiana.
Transmission of measles occurred in Indiana among unvaccinated individuals or those with unknown vaccination statuses. In the state of Indiana, two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are required to attend school, unless parents present a medical or religious exemption.
The new case in Adams County was traced to an unvaccinated person who travelled to a country where measles is prevalent. While the individual is no longer infectious, health officials warn that those who visited the Bluffton Regional Medical Center on February 20 could have been exposed to measles.
Experts said that the increased number of measles cases in the United States is due to decreased vaccination rates.