Vaccinations jump 500% in antivax hotspot amid measles outbreak

08 Février, 2019, 00:54 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • A measles outbreak near Portland Ore. has revived a bitter debate over so-called “philosophical” exemptions to childhood vaccinations. MMR protects against measles mumps and rubella

- One case of measles has been confirmed in Bell County.

That helps explain why public health officials get so concerned when outbreaks occur, which they have been with increasing frequency in recent years.

It is also 15 times a record low recorded in 2016.

The Portland area is an anti-vaccination hot spot, and state data show only about 77 percent of Clark County kindergarteners had completed their vaccinations for the 2017-2018 school year, far below the roughly 95 percent of people that health experts say should be vaccinated to create "herd immunity" against a contagious disease like measles. The virus spreads through the air and can linger for up to two hours in an isolated space.

Measles infection typically causes a rash, fever, conjunctivitis (red eyes), cough or runny nose.

Three Multnomah County youths have measles, bringing Oregon's total of measles cases to four. But it can also lead to serious, life-threatening complications, including blindness, inflammation of the brain and pneumonia.

So far in the US this year, about 80 cases of measles have been reported, with two outbreaks ongoing in Washington and NY states.

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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.

Ukraine reported the highest number of measles cases previous year - more than 10 times that of the next highest, Serbia.

While families in Madagascar have difficulty accessing the measles vaccine, outbreaks in Europe and the USA are often linked to vaccine hesitancy - the reluctance of parents to vaccinate their children because of unfounded fears about the treatment. Orders of measles vaccines in the county reached 3,150 in January. "I would rather it not take an outbreak for this to happen", Alan Melnick, the Clark County health officer overseeing the response, told KHN.

While vaccination rates are improving, the World Health Organization says coverage is not high enough to prevent circulation of the virus in many countries.

Children can be vaccinated once they are 12 months old.

Multnomah County officials have reported a steep uptick in vaccinations over this time previous year. Doctors say one dose of the MMR [measles, mumps, rubela] vaccine is about 93 percent effective.

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