Published: Thu, February 14, 2019
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2 unrelated cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver

2 unrelated cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver

This data reflects a almost 8-fold increase in measles cases in the Philippines. Despite measles being officially declared "eliminated in the United States" in 2000, the number of measles cases have been increasing ever since, with 79 cases already in 2019, majority in Washington state. Many have been concentrated in Washington state, where the growing number of cases has driven local demand for vaccinesand fueled debate nationwide over vaccine exemptions for non-medical reasons.

Washington state is in the midst of yet another measles outbreak, with over 50 cases already and a public health emergency declared in Clark County. Four cases in Oregon's Multnomah County and one in Seattle-King County are linked to the outbreak in Vancouver. In early 2018, for example, a scandal around a dengue fever vaccination erupted following unproven allegations that the jab made child recipients more likely to fall ill and die.

The authority notes that two doses of measles vaccine are 99 per cent effective at preventing measles, and most cases now occur in those born after 1970 who have had no doses or only one dose of the vaccine. But in order to maintain the effectiveness of vaccinations, people have to get them.

New Hampshire does not allow exemptions on philosophical grounds - basically, whenever the parents don't want their children vaccinated.

The CDC attributes measles outbreaks, both recent and the ones in years past, to many people from the USA traveling to countries with more measles cases than usual, as well as small pockets of unvaccinated people in the US itself. Cases additionally have been reported in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois and New Jersey, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The activity includes five outbreaks from five jurisdictions, including two New York counties (Rockland and Monroe), New York City, Washington, and Texas.

Since getting vaccinated is a medical procedure, in most cases teens younger than 18 need the consent of a parent, guardian, or other adult family member. The only year with a higher case count was 2014: numerous 667 cases that year were linked to an outbreak in the Philippines, and many occurred among unvaccinated Amish communities in OH, according to the CDC. "But measles is one of the most infectious viruses known and will infect 90 percent of unimmunized people who breathe it in".

"Progress has been uneven between and within countries, leaving increasing clusters of susceptible individuals unprotected, and resulting in a record number of people affected by the virus in 2018", the report states. State data show only about 77 percent of Clark County kindergarteners had completed their vaccinations for the 2017-2018 school year, among the lowest rates in the state.

It says the disease can also be spread through sharing food, drinks or cigarettes or kissing an infected person. Demand for vaccinations has skyrocketed in Clark County, Kaiser Health News reported, with requested orders of the vaccine reaching 3,150 doses in January, up from 530 in the same period a year ago.

Before the next outbreak reaches the shores of Lake Erie, it's time for state lawmakers to end the personal exemption for vaccinations in Ohio.

The CDC says travelers to the Philippines should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, and should speak with a healthcare provider regarding additional vaccinations.

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