Public health experts expressed concern Thursday about the possibility of the U.S. losing its measles elimination status, given ongoing outbreaks nationally and internationally.

“It’s not looking good for the U.S.,” Robert Kezaala, a senior health adviser for UNICEF, said at a global immunization forum at the Rayburn House Office Building.

Dr. Kezaala noted that a country loses its elimination status if the spread of an infectious disease lasts for a year.

The U.S. is now in the sixth month of its biggest measles outbreak since 1994. Measles had been declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week reported 940 measles cases in 26 states, an increase of 60 infections over the previous week, prompting U.S. health officials to consider a measles travel ban on infected travelers.

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