Sudden Outbreak Of Measles Virus In Washington County

A measles outbreak near Portland Ore. has revived a bitter debate over so-called “philosophical” exemptions to childhood vaccinations. MMR protects against measles mumps and rubella

One case of measles confirmed in Bell County

While data indicate exceptionally high immunization coverage at regional level, they also reflect a record number affected and killed by the disease.

In Clark County, Washington - where about 50 people have been infected since the outbreak started - more than 6 times as many people were vaccinated for measles from January 13 to February 2 compared to the same period a year ago, according to a spokesperson for Washington State Department of Health. It was publicized earlier that the disease was eradicated in the 2000 but has ever since made a return that is attached to imported cases and the growth of the anti-vaccine movement. If adults aren't sure whether they are still immune, another dose of vaccine won't do them any harm and could help prevent infection, he said.

Washington state Rep. Paul Harris (R-Vancouver) has introduced a measurethat would remove personal belief exemptions for the MMR vaccine.

Europe had a record number of measles cases previous year, in part due to a growing number of pockets where parents are refusing to vaccinate their children, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says. Among kindergartners, the vaccine rate for two doses of the MMR vaccine that includes measles is 94.3%.

Washington and OR are among 17 states that allow non-medical exemptions from vaccination requirements for school entry, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Only two provinces, Ontario and New Brunswick, require children to have updated vaccination records in order to enter school. Health officials are not providing information about this individual in order to protect their privacy.

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"It should be a wake-up call. not only for every person [and] for every health center in Madagascar, but for the whole world", Kightlinger tells CNN, noting that some Americans choose not vaccinate their kids, while in Madagascar low vaccine rates are typically due to lack of access.

"The measles vaccine isn't flawless, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", said Dr. Alan Melnick of the Clark County Public Health Department. Of those, 72 cases were fatal.

What Other Cities Are at Risk?

That helps explain why public health officials get so concerned when outbreaks occur, which they have been with increasing frequency in recent years.

Looking Ahead Where will the next big measles outbreak spring up in the United States?

Although we are left to speculate about the next location of a measles outbreak, it's clear that if vaccination coverage does not increase, it will only be a matter of time until we find out.

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