Health Care

Anti-vaccination ‘hot spot’ in SW Washington declares emergency over measles outbreak

Anti-vaccination ‘hot spot’ in SW Washington declares emergency over measles outbreak”

An outbreak of measles cases in Washington state has infected 22 people, majority children under 10, in what is the second significant outbreak of the disease in the US since September.

Residents who have been asked by a health care provider to "watch for measles", or who are otherwise ill - including flu-like symptoms, are advised to stay home and not go out in public.

A public health emergency has been declared in Clark County, Washington, as a result of an ongoing measles outbreak. The Post reported that 7.9 percent of children were exempted from receiving vaccines, including immunization for measles, entering kindergarten last academic year. The virus can linger in the air for up to two hours after an infected person has left the area.

Authorities declared a public health emergency Friday in nearby Clark County.

"As of January 16, 2019, there have been 58 confirmed cases of measles in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn since October", the New York City health department says on its website.

Of those, 19 did NOT receive a vaccine against measles.

At least one case required hospitalization, as well as an additional suspected case.

Just 1 percent of kids who were exempted from vaccination previous year in Washington were excused for medical reasons.

The outbreak makes concrete the fears of pediatric epidemiologists that a citadel of the movement against compulsory vaccination could be susceptible to the rapid spread of a potentially deadly disease.

The problem is especially pronounced, the paper found, in more than a dozen "hotspot metropolitan areas", including Portland and Seattle in the Northwest, Phoenix in the Southwest and Pittsburgh in the Northeast. "(The greatest was 667 cases reported in 2014)", the CDC says in its latest update on measles.

Measles is an extremely contagious infection that is serious for small children but is easily preventable by vaccine.

2018 saw the second-highest number of measles cases since the start of the 21st century, according to a CDC report. Orthodox Jewish communities were at the center of a series of outbreaks previous year in NY and New Jersey, after unvaccinated travelers brought the virus back from Israel, which was battling an outbreak. "Portland is a total train wreck when it comes to vaccine rates".

Federal statistics show that 81 people brought measles back to the USA after travelling overseas, representing a post-elimination record.

Since then the number had continued to grow weekly as unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children and adults were exposed, the department said. Measles causes encephalitis and pneumonia and before mass vaccination began in the 1980s, measles killed almost 2.6 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization.

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