Health Care

Measles Cases Confirmed in Georgia Following Northwest Outbreak

Measles Cases Confirmed in Georgia Following Northwest Outbreak”

Health officials say low vaccination rates in local schools are one big reason for the outbreak, which has been declared a statewide public health emergency. "We've since looked at millions of kids completely debunking that there's any link between autism and [the vaccine]". Doctors say the disease spreads so quickly because it can linger for hours after an infected person has left the room.

As the number of cases and geographic reach expands in Southwest Washington's measles crisis, state lawmakers are looking to revisit who can opt out of vaccinations.

Health officials say the outbreak in the Northwest is a textbook example of why it's critical to vaccinate against measles, which was eradicated in the United States after the vaccine was introduced in 1963.

Three cases of measles have been confirmed among one Atlanta, Georgia family, health officials reported.

Clark County, Washington, has a vaccination rate of 78 percent, well below the level necessary to protect those with compromised immune systems or who can't get vaccinated because of medical issues or because they are too young. The states of OR and Washington are now dealing with an outbreak of measles, which had previously been eliminated in the entire United States as recently as 2000. Thirty-four were not immunised against the disease.

Thirty-one of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles.

Opposition to vaccines is generally based on junk science that has been endorsed by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy who, with Oprah's help, falsely hinted that there may be something unsafe about the measles vaccine. The first known patient sought medical care on December 31, but it isn't known if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment. One vaccine provides 93 percent immunity from measles, and two shots provide 97 percent protection.

The CDC advises those who believe they are infected should stay home for four days after developing the rash to minimize the likelihood of spreading the disease. Symptoms can start like any other really bad cold: "a cough, runny nose, not feeling very well, red eyes", he says.

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