Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Washington Measles Outbreak Spreads

One case of measles confirmed in Bell County Measles outbreak – time to get vaccinated if you are not
Carol Daniels | 08 February, 2019, 06:26

Clark County Public Health Department Public Information Officer Marissa Armstrong said that the first case in the Clark County outbreak was a child who had traveled to Clark County from outside the country - information that was announced in the initial outbreak news release January 4.

One case of measles has been confirmed in Denton County raising the statewide total to seven, according to health officials.

Officials say those people were in close contact with the only other person confirmed to have the measles in Multnomah County.

At present there are at least 50 confirmed cases of measles in the area, with another dozen or so suspected.

Legislation in the state of NY permits vaccine exemptions for individuals who have religious beliefs against immunization.

That's a huge rise in a county where vaccination rates lag - only 76.5 percent of kindergartners had all the required immunizations for the 2017-18 school year.

Since the beginning of the year, things have been looking increasingly grim in parts of OR and Washington due to a measles outbreak that has affected dozens of people. There are now 3 suspected cases in individuals who received the vaccine more than 72 hours after exposure.

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The orders include only state-supplied medicines requested under the federal "Vaccines for Children" program, which provides free vaccinations for children who otherwise could not afford them. This is consistent with testing from the first known case (a child) from this outbreak in WA. About 1 in 20 children with measles contracts pneumonia, and in rare cases measles patients may experience encephalitis - inflammation in the brain. "We must do more and do it better to protect each and every person from diseases that can be easily avoided".

And leading health officials are stressing the importance of getting vaccinated.

The percentage of children receiving the first dose of the vaccine also increased, to 95%.

Looking Ahead Where will the next big measles outbreak spring up in the United States? Texas, which allows philosophical and religious vaccine exemptions, has 6 confirmed measles cases in 2019, 3 of which have been confirmed in Harris County.

The measles vaccine, which is cheap and 97% effective at preventing the disease, has never been shown to be linked to any autism or any of a number of other conditions or disorders that the "anti-vaxxer" community has attempted to pin on it.

"There's no reason we should be having this outbreak", says Melnick.

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