Northwest measles outbreak revives debate over vaccine laws

03 February, 2019, 19:41 | Author: Israel Montgomery
  • Measles Outbreak Got Traction Due To Anti Vaxxer Movement

State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would remove the personal or philosophical objection to the measles vaccination for parents not vaccinating their children as otherwise required to attend public schools. Washington also has a higher-than-average percentage of vaccine exemptions.

USA officials scrambling to contain a measles crisis in the USA are warning people to vaccinate their children, fearing it could take months to contain the outbreak due to a lower-than-normal vaccination rate at the epicentre of the crisis.

'If you have a large unvaccinated population and you add measles to the mix, one measles case will infect 90 percent of contacts, and the early symptoms are not distinguishable from other respiratory illnesses - and you're contagious at that point, ' Dr Melnick said. And the potentially deadly disease is making a comeback mostly in unvaccinated children: Of the total reported cases, 32 were in unvaccinated people, 25 of whom were children under the age of 10.

And, yup, turns out that both Washington and OR have laws that allow parents to opt out of the vaccination requirement if they have a philosophical OR religious objection. In Oregon, which has a similar law, 7.5 percent of kindergarteners in 2018 were missing shots for non-medical reasons.

"People are feeling extremely oppressed and feeling like they can't make an educated decision", said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the group.

More news: Transfer roundup: Everton told they must pay £35m to sign Michy Batshuayi

The best protection against measles is the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travelers infected overseas can bring the virus back and spread it, causing periodic outbreaks.

Last year, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases in the United States.

Of course, the outbreak has many parents concerned for the health of their kids. At the time in the US, the disease annually infected between 3-4 million people and killed as many as 500. Serious complications include brain swelling that can cause blindness or deafness and pneumonia.

Patients are contagious four days before and four days after getting the rash. Someone who has no immunity can get sick up to three weeks after they have been exposed to the virus.

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