United States measles outbreak grows

As of Thursday, 55 instances of measles had been confirmed in Washington state. Now, lawmakers want to tighten some of those personal belief exemptions.

Lawmakers in both Washington and OR, states that have seen outbreaks this year, are considering ending philosophical vaccine exemptions for schools.

Michelle Mello, professor of law and health research and policy at Stanford University.

The country's top health official on Monday reported that the total death toll from the outbreaks arising from the scourge of measles has totalled at least 70, with four out of five of those killed have not been vaccinated against the ailment.

Children should receive their first dose of measles vaccine between 12-15 months of age and another dose at 4-6 years of age. The CDC defines a measles outbreak as three or more cases, and it said the events are linked to travelers who were exposed in other countries such as Israel and Ukraine where large outbreaks are underway.

The measles virus spreads mostly through coughing and sneezing - and it's incredibly contagious, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

At the same time, a children 10 years old or younger did get diagnosed with measles.

"I graduate from high school this May and plan on majoring in clinical laboratory science in college", she said.

USA Today: "A quarter of all kindergartners in this county in Washington aren't immunized". The outbreak's epicenter is Clark County, Wash., just north of Portland, Ore. Another case has been identified in King County, which includes Seattle.

To further limit the spread of the virus, health officials ask that people who think they might have measles call their doctor or health care provider before visiting a hospital or doctor's office.

Experts at the Central Racine County Health Department say vaccines are useful and necessary, yet there are schools in the county with immunization rates low enough to be considered risky. 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.

Washington Post: "Opinion: Measles was eliminated". But we can't be sure it'll stay that way.

Across Canada, only a single new case of laboratory-confirmed measles was reported between December 30, 2018, and January 26, 2019, according to Health Canada's most recent measles and rubella monitoring reports.

A measles outbreak in Washington state prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency on January 25. During the outbreak, APIC noted that HealthPartners activated a system-wide command center that allowed infection preventionists to collaborate as an integrated system.

"When we see that a society where this is not the case sees it as something to take for granted, it's very sad", Mihigo said of the United States and Europe. While recent measles outbreaks have been contained, the frequency and size of these outbreaks is alarming.

Vanessa Coleman

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