Washington State Measles Outbreak Hits 62 Cases

Mom looks for early vaccination
Jennifer Menzies wants to have her daughter Charlotte vaccinated early
Author

22 February, 2019

"Someone who has travelled and they have the symptoms of measles: cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, fever and then a rash that starts on the head and works down, those are the typical symptoms of measles".

In rare cases, it can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, blindness, deafness, and even death.

Because measles is so contagious - the virus can live in the air where an infected person has coughed or sneezed for up to two hours - controlling outbreaks can be extremely hard.

According to IH, 86 per cent of two-year-olds in the Thompson-Shuswap region have received their MMR vaccines.

While there has been attention in the media recently related to outbreaks of measles in multiple states, authorities say there are no current outbreaks of measles in Kansas.

The DOH said it recorded 11,459 confirmed cases of measles, with 189 fatalities from January 1 to February 20 this year.

Most people in Kansas are fully vaccinated against measles. The World Health Organization says there were 110,000 deaths from measles globally in 2017, a lot of them children under age five.

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Some people - infants, people with certain underlying health conditions and those undergoing chemotherapy - can not be vaccinated and must rely on "herd" immunity to prevent infection.

The vaccination is available from physicians, pharmacists (for adults and children over five years) and public health units (for children) but people should call ahead to ensure the MMR vaccine is available. A comprehensively discredited study by a doctor who was struck off the medical register for serious professional misconduct over how he carried out the study, is the likely source of the thoroughly debunked myth that vaccines cause autism. "I don't think it's too late ever to get your measles immunization up to date".

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but scattered outbreaks have occurred in recent years.

The best way to prevent measles infection is with 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.

Cadesky said young patients like Bisset are often exposed to ideas and beliefs among their peers that differ from those of their parents, causing them to look for validated information, "and they're correctly concluding that vaccination is safe and effective".

"And if we don't get vaccine coverage up to higher levels in Canada, throughout Canada, for community protection, we're going to continue to see these pockets (of cases)".

That's especially advisable for anyone planning to travel during the upcoming March break to countries where the disease is poorly controlled, she said. Clark County is at the center of the state's measles outbreak with 63 reported cases, and outbreaks, which have also appeared elsewhere in the nation, are most prevalent in areas with high concentrations of unvaccinated children.


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