Washington declares public health emergency after measles outbreak of mostly unvaccinated children

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31 January, 2019

These states have particularly high levels - or "hot spots" - of unvaccinated children and are vulnerable to measles outbreaks, according to a study by Hotez and his colleagues that published past year.

A measles outbreak has prompted a state of emergency in the state of Washington, an area that is considered a hot spot for the anti-vaccination movement.

There are another nine suspected cases. Since then, two more cases were confirmed in Washington and one case in Oregon.

Over the last few years, flu vaccination effectiveness rate has hovered around 40 percent, which may lead to confusion about other vaccines. There are certain procedures in place for taking care of patients with measles.

Measles is a highly infectious viral respiratory disease that spreads through the air and through direct contact with respiratory body fluids like snot and saliva.

All states require immunizations for children to attend school. Two doses are about 97% effective.

Free MMR vaccines are available by calling the Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520 to schedule an appointment to get a free MMR vaccine at the Pomona health complex. The county has a vaccination rate of 78 per cent, well below the level necessary to protect those with compromised immune systems or those who can't get vaccinated because of medical issues or because they are too young.

The U.S. government recommends two vaccines that help prevent measles.

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SOLOMON: The outbreak started in southwest Washington's Clark County but has been spreading. Europe saw more than 41,000 measles cases in the first half of 2018, a record high in the post-vaccine era. Her reaction is said to have sprung from an experience with her middle child, who purportedly had severe reactions to vaccination.

He also said the disease still poses a serious threat many appear to have forgotten about. The health officials are not only fighting the outbreak but also a spread of misinformation.

"We make a lot of decisions in our life around parenting; unfortunately, this is one that not only impacts the decision you have made for your child but also impacts other children and persons around them", Sammons added. The measles vaccine consists of two shots, one given by age 2 and the second usually between ages 4 and 6.

Measles is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus.

Those infected with measles can spread the virus four days before and four days after the rash appears.

Babies typically aren't given their first dose of the measles vaccine until their first birthday (though there are exceptions for babies who travel out of the country), in part because mothers who've been immunized against the disease either through vaccination or because they once had the disease pass some of that immunity on to their little ones.

Earlier this week, authorities were successful in identifying several people who had been exposed but were not sick yet.

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