Measles cases soared previous year in Europe as gaps in vaccinations at a local level left the virus an open door to kill 72 children and adults, the World Health Organization said. There were no new confirmed cases of measles Tuesday - the first time in weeks.
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.
Measles infections in Europe hit a decade high in 2018, despite more children than ever before receiving vaccinations. In countries reporting hospitalization data, almost 2/3 (61%) of measles cases were hospitalized. Concern over the vaccine can be traced back to a 1998 paper by former doctor Andrew Wakefield, who falsely linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism.
Measles vaccination rates in Washington have jumped since the onset of an outbreak, with the biggest increase in vaccination coming from the county most impacted by the virus.
Washington and Oregon Outbreaks: The Tell-Tale Signs Both Washington and Oregon permit religious and philosophical vaccine exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
As KHN reports, hospitals in the area are dealing with a massive spike in the number of vaccination requests by parents who previously decided against the preventative shots for their children.
Similar outbreaks have been occurring in Europe: In 2017, there were 25,863 cases of measles; a year ago, that surged to more than 82,000. Between January 13 and February 2, 2,739 children and 1,754 adults were vaccinated compared to 630 children and 60 adults over the same period past year.
Measles case confirmed in Denton County
The wave of infections came despite record vaccinations across Europe in 2017. This is consistent with testing from the first known case (a child) from this outbreak in WA. Health officials are not providing information about this individual in order to protect their privacy.
The Oregon Health Authority said Wednesday that measles was confirmed in the three people Wednesday but that they pose no risk to the public. "The recommended two doses of the measles vaccine provide even greater protection - 97 percent". The mainstream of those infected are children, who have not been vaccinated against the disease, executives said. Since Jan. 1, 51 confirmed cases and 13 suspect cases have been identified. According to the aforementioned study, other areas that are considered hotspots include Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City, Utah; Provo, Utah; Fort Worth, Texas; Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Forty-two patients were not immunized against the virus, while health officials had not verified the immunization status of six patients.
The World Health Organization that between 2000 to 2017, the measles vaccine prevented 21.1 million deaths.
Looking Ahead Where will the next big measles outbreak spring up in the United States?
Adult vaccination numbers in the county also rose.
"There's no reason we should be having this outbreak", says Melnick.
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