While measles is rare in the United States, it is still commonly transmitted elsewhere in the world. In 2018, there were 349 confirmed cases of measles in people from 26 states and the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Measles immunization resulted in an 80 percent decrease in measles deaths worldwide between 2000 and 2017 (from 545,000 deaths in 2000 to 110,000 deaths in 2017), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). During that timeframe, measles immunization prevented an estimated 21.1 million deaths, according to WHO.
Before the measles vaccination program began in the U.S. in 1963, about 3 to 4 million people in the U.S. got measles every year. Of those, 400 to 500 people died and 48,000 were hospitalized, according to the CDC.