Washington measles outbreak sends vaccine demand soaring, even among the hesitant

Postado Fevereiro 08, 2019

The region's measles outbreak began in Clark County, Washington, where since January 1, health officials had confirmed 49 cases and suspected nine others as of Tuesday morning. "Unfortunately, people think that measles is just a rash and fever but measles can cause serious health concerns, especially in young children, and is highly contagious".

Demand for measles vaccines leapt 500 percent last month in Clark County, Washington-a hotbed for anti-vaccine sentiment that has now become the epicenter of a ferocious measles outbreak. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a person has measles, 90 per cent of those in proximity will also contract the virus unless they have been vaccinated or are immune.

Measles is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when the infected person coughs or sneezes.

However, measles is highly contagious.

Three Multnomah County youths have measles, bringing Oregon's total of measles cases to four. But in severe cases complications from the disease can lead to blindness, pneumonia and death.

A report published by the European Commission previous year and compiled by a team led by Ms Larson found measles immunisation coverage had fallen in 12 EU countries since 2010, and seven out of the 10 countries with the lowest vaccine confidence in the world were in Europe.

Two adults died from measles in 2017 in the UK. Most people born before 1978 have had measles infection and will not get measles again.

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

The WHO says the 2018 surge in measles cases followed a year when European countries achieved their highest ever estimated coverage for the second dose of the measles vaccination - 90%. People who have never received a measles vaccine are susceptible to the disease, which can be deadly.

"It can be on surfaces", explained Dr. Phil Huang, Medical Director and Health Authority for Austin Public Health. Orders for measles vaccine climbed 30 percent in Washington overall, from 12,140 doses in January last year to 15,780 doses in January of this year.

"This outbreak has put people at real risk", said Ann Thomas, public health physician at the Oregon Health Authority.

Multnomah County officials have reported a steep uptick in vaccinations over this time past year.