June 17, 2019

Health professionals urging vaccinations in light of measles outbreak

30 January 2019, 08:42 | Silvia Roy

Health professionals urging vaccinations in light of measles outbreak

Governor Jay Ipsee as declared a state public health emergency after more than two dozen measles cases have been reported primarily affecting small children

DPH is collaborating with local partners to identify contacts and implement appropriate control measures.

The measles virus spreads through coughing and sneezing and can live in the air where an infected person coughed or sneezed for up to two hours. According to the CDC, it infected between three and four million people in the United States every year, causing an estimated 400 to 500 deaths.

Patients in Washington state who visit the Vancouver Clinic are greeted with free face masks and pumps of hand sanitizer as they enter the health facility.

Thirty-five of the confirmed measles patients and all of the suspected cases are located in Clark County.

The measles is highly contagious and can be deadly if small kids get it.

But it's important to remember that measles is not just a childhood illness and it's never too late to have the vaccine.

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Vaccination is the most effective preventative measure and there is data to show that it has saved millions of lives.

Children under the age of one can not be immunized. According to the 2016-2017 Statewide School Immunization Survey, 97% of CT students were vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR by kindergarten entry. Measles symptoms tend to manifest seven to 21 days after exposure.

Children receive the first vaccine between 12 and 15 months old and the second vaccine between ages 4 and 6.

Controversy surrounding a 1998 report which linked the MMR vaccine to autism and later celebrity endorsement of the claim has been the genesis of a rise in skepticism about the safety of the vaccine, though this opinion has been widely rejected by the CDC, the National Academy of Medicine and other major research institutions. The first known patient sought medical care on December 31, but it is unknown if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning that travellers to certain parts of the US could be at risk of catching measles.

Medical authorities have associated the phenomenon of vaccine refusal with increased risk for those who are not vaccinated as well as those who are.

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Worldwide travelers should be up-to-date on their vaccinations. In 2018, six cases of measles were reported by B.C residents.

Clark County has already spent more than $100,000 trying to contain the outbreak, and staff is being pulled from other duties, including restaurant inspections, he said. If one sick child coughs in a room and leaves, another unvaccinated person has a 90 percent chance of catching the illness.

What are symptoms of measles?

Nurses say it generally starts on your head and spreads down your body.

The rash typically lasts at least a few days and then disappears in the same order.

Measles is very easily spread from person to person.

"What keeps me up at night is eventually having a child die from this completely preventable situation", said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County public health director, according to AP.

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