As measles cases in the country rise to the highest level in over two decades, health officials have weighed a travel ban that would prohibit those believed infected with the disease from flying.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 60 new individual instances of measles in Monday’s update, bringing this year’s tally to 940. It’s the largest total since 1994, falling just short of the 963 cases reported that year.

Efforts to fight off a disease that has spread to 26 states have led state and local officials to consider requesting the imposition of a rarely used travel ban on infectious passengers, The Washington Post reported.

Eight people from five states were warned the federal government could put them on a Do Not Board list managed by the CDC, and they canceled their travel plans, the newspaper said.

Such tactics may strike some as heavy-handed, but they have been validated through decades of case law, said Mark Ustin, head of the health care compliance and lobbying practices at the New York law firm Farrell Fritz.

In fact, officials in New York worked with federal authorities to prevent two people exposed to measles from traveling by air in an attempt to contain the spread of the disease.

The unidentified people are among eight throughout the country who have voluntarily canceled travel plans in lieu of being placed on a rarely used federal list maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that would bar them from boarding flights, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The current outbreak of the virus has its roots in air travel.

Several travelers came to the United States legally from Israel, where there are outbreaks of the virus, and visited ultra-Orthodox communities where there is an aversion to vaccinations.

“That’s how we started here,” said Ed Day, the Rockland County executive. “They came in legitimately through the front door.

And as parents make summer camp plans, many have learned that facilities now mandate vaccinations before accepting applications.

Officials say people who may spread measles can be placed on a “do not board” list that will prevent them from flying, and summer camps are insisting that campers and staff be properly vaccinated, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Tuesday.

Scott Rosmarin’s family has run an Orange County day camp for 70 years. This summer, every camper will be required to provide proof they’ve been vaccinated for measles, with no exemptions.

“I had accepted some kids in the past that had medical and religious exemptions and I just felt I wasn’t gonna do it. I want to put the other parents at ease and let them know all the kids in camp are gonna be vaccinated,” Rosmarin said.

 
 
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