Public health officials scrambling to contain a measles outbreak in the U.S. Northwest warned people to vaccinate their children Monday and anxious that it could take months to contain the highly contagious viral illness due to a lower-than-normal vaccination rate at the epicenter of the crisis.
At least 44 people in Washington and OR have fallen ill in recent weeks with the extraordinarily contagious virus, which was eradicated in the U.S.in 2000 as a result of immunization but arrives periodically with overseas travelers.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last week declared a state of emergency due to the outbreak, which authorities have said could last for months.
As a measles outbreak rages in Clark County, health care professionals advise a simple solution: Get vaccinated. In recent years, however, the viral illness has popped up again from NY to California and sickened hundreds.
Of the confirmed cases, 37 are people who were not immunized.
Thirty-one of the Clark County cases are between the ages of 1 and 10; 10 are between 11 and 18; and one case is between 19 and 29.
The CDC has warned that travellers should ensure they are vaccinated against measles with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR).
On the darkest day of 2018, the winter solstice, we at the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh tweeted, with despair, a report in the Guardian that measles cases in Europe reached the highest number in 20 years. Five cases' immunization statuses are unverified and one case was vaccinated - though with only one of the recommended two doses.
And in the USA, 18 states allow parents to opt-out of vaccinations for personal beliefs. Liberal-leaning OR and Washington have some of the nation's highest statewide vaccine exemption rates, driven in part by low vaccination levels in scattered communities and at some private and alternative schools.
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U.S. officials scrambling to contain a measles crisis in the United States are warning people to vaccinate their children, fearing it could take months to contain the outbreak due to a lower-than-normal vaccination rate at the epicentre of the crisis. "It's still out there, even though it's been debunked, that the measles vaccine results in autism".
There is now a measles outbreak that started in Washington and has made its way to OR, and anti-vaxxers are the sole cause of this retro death threat. It's scheduled for a public hearing in Olympia on February 8.
"That's pretty typical protocol that we engage with", Maxwell said. Washington state lawmakers recently proposed banning such exemptions. The national exemption rate is about 2 percent, and Washington has become a hotbed for the measles.
OR state Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Democrat and family physician, dropped an attempt to revoke the state's non-medical exemption in 2015 after virulent opposition. "I'm just so scared", she said.
California is one of the few states that stripped away personal belief vaccine exemptions for children in both public and private schools.
The best way to protect your family from measles is to get vaccinated. But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travelers infected overseas can bring the virus back and spread it, causing periodic outbreaks. Serious complications include brain swelling that can cause blindness or deafness and pneumonia.
Symptoms can start like any other really bad cold: "a cough, runny nose, not feeling very well, red eyes", he says.
You can catch measles from an infected person as early as four days before he or she has a rash and for up to four days after the rash appears. CDC data show 90 percent of people who are unvaccinated near someone who is infected will contract the disease. Someone who has no immunity can get sick up to three weeks after they have been exposed to the virus.