Health Care

Clamour for vaccines as measles outbreak kills almost 1,000 children in Madagascar

Clamour for vaccines as measles outbreak kills almost 1,000 children in Madagascar”

Infection with the measles virus begins with a high fever, coughing, runny nose and red eyes, followed by the development of a blotchy, painful rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Since the 1960s, two doses of the measles vaccine have been given to young children to prevent the disease, which causes symptoms ranging from pneumonia to vision loss, and even death.

According to Dr. Alan Melnick, director of public health for Clark County, Wash., an unvaccinated person can be in the room two hours after someone with measles has left, and still contract the disease.

"We anxious 10-12 years ago because there was a lot of debate around the MMR vaccine", he told CBC News.

"Utilizing the school system to get our immunization rate up is something we should consider", Fleming said.

The Guardian: Measles: WHO says cases have jumped 50%.

The British Columbia government is considering mandatory vaccination registration after the outbreak of measles in the province.

Unvaccinated children aged 5 and below are at highest risk of the disease, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo earlier said.

"At any given time, Interior Health's communicable disease unit does get reports of individuals who have potentially been exposed to measles due to travel to other parts of the country and world where measles may be present", Mema said, pointing out the health authority has reports of a small number of individuals who may have been exposed to measles outside of IH.

Most of the 64 people sick were unvaccinated, something that's now being addressed in the state Legislature with a bill that would remove personal exemptions for parents vaccinating children.

It's suggested that infants receive their first MMR vaccine about their first birthday, with a booster shot in kindergarten.

"I think youth have adapted along with the Internet and have a better sense of which sources are reliable, and with so much information there now, can compare information easily", she said.

Island Health said no cases of measles have been reported on Vancouver Island. Melnick says restaurants are still safe for eating because those inspections will still get done, but they could be carried out slower.

As of 2016, only 89 percent of children received the MMR1 vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella - the lowest rate since 2012.

"However, the vast majority of parents are vaccinating because they want to protect their children and protect their community".

Two additional Epidemic Intelligence Service officers, who conduct outbreak investigations and are assigned by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), were set to go to Clark County again Wednesday.

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



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