Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Medical | By

Sudden outbreak of measles prompts emergency declaration, renews vaccination debate

1-2 people out of every 1,000 who become infected with measles will die.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious health complications, including infections of the lungs and brain.

Measles infection typically causes a rash, fever, conjunctivitis (red eyes), cough or runny nose.

In the United Kingdom, there were 953 measles cases a year ago.

This, the HSE says, is why measles outbreaks are occurring in Ireland and across Europe.

By the end of 2017, the percentage of children in Ukraine who had been vaccinated had significantly improved, to about 90% but, the World Health Organization says, this now needs to be sustained to protect the population from further outbreaks of measles.

Ukraine reported the highest number of measles cases a year ago - more than 10 times that of the next highest, Serbia.

Washington is one of many states with non-medical exemptions.

While families in Madagascar have difficulty accessing the measles vaccine, outbreaks in Europe and the USA are often linked to vaccine hesitancy - the reluctance of parents to vaccinate their children because of unfounded fears about the treatment. The paper was completely debunked and retracted and Mr. Wakefield lost his medical licence, but the damage was done. It's now reintroduced after someone who travels outside the country gets infected.

Health clinics are scrambling to keep up with sudden demand, mostly among parents of children in Southwest Washington who had not been inoculated.

Vaccination remains the most effective method for preventing measles, according to the Bell County Health District.

Children can be vaccinated once they are 12 months old.

But it's a snapshot of the scare an outbreak can cause, said Dr. Alan Melnick, the Clark County health officer overseeing the response.

Multnomah County officials have reported a steep uptick in vaccinations over this time past year.

Dr. Robinson wrote a statement previous year for the Canadian Paediatric Society on problems with vaccination rates in Canada. In Manitoba, for instance, only 66 per cent of two-year-olds are up-to-date for all vaccines, including measles, mumps and rubella.

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.

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