'We are Going to Have More:' Measles Threat Grows


"The measles vaccine isn't ideal, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", said Dr. Alan Melnick of the Clark County Public Health Department.

Denton County Public Health officials said Wednesday there's one confirmed case of measles in the county.

Vaccination rates in King County - where the other single measles case in Washington was is located - also went up.

The New York City measles outbreak continues to persist, with 67 confirmed cases of measles occurring between October and February 6, 2019.

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Legislation in the state of NY permits vaccine exemptions for individuals who have religious beliefs against immunization.

Since the beginning of the year, things have been looking increasingly grim in parts of OR and Washington due to a measles outbreak that has affected dozens of people.

The rush to receive the MMR vaccine - which inoculates the recipient from measles, mumps and rubella - in Clark County is especially striking because the county has an unusually low vaccination rate.

It's not just children that are getting vaccinated in the county, either. Thirteen additional cases were suspected. More children in the Region received the full two-dose series on time, according to their countries' immunization schedules, in 2017 than in any year since World Health Organization started collecting data on the second dose in 2000. Only 81% of 1 to 5 year olds in the county have received a dose of MMR, according to Clark County, Washington Public Health. Measles can be transmitted to others from four days prior to four days after the rash appears. 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. "We must do more and do it better to protect each and every person from diseases that can be easily avoided", Jakab said.

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Anyone with questions about their measles immunity or the measles vaccine should contact their primary care provider. Numerous articles these organizations produce closely resemble scientific articles, Melnick says.

Looking Ahead Where will the next big measles outbreak spring up in the United States?

"If you have a population that is unvaccinated, it's like throwing a match into a can of gasoline", said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County's public health director.

Although we are left to speculate about the next location of a measles outbreak, it's clear that if vaccination coverage does not increase, it will only be a matter of time until we find out.

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