Measles reported in Georgia, Oregon and Hawaii amid outbreak across the US fueled by anti-vaxxers
02 February, 2019, 07:14
Health officials say the outbreak is a textbook example of why it's critical to vaccinate against measles, which was eradicated in the USA after the vaccine was introduced in 1963. Only one case occurred in a person who was vaccinated. During the last measles outbreak, more than a quarter of the kindergartens in California fell short of the mark for herd immunity.
According to WAC 246-105-030, measles is one of many diseases for which a child is required to be vaccinated against or show proof of immunity, before attending any school (public or private) or child care center. Outside of the family noted above, there are no reports of secondary cases of measles. Of the 41 confirmed cases, 37 are people who were not immunized and four are unverified. The county has had most of the diagnosed cases so far.
Dr. Sheffield said that a population has to be 95 percent vaccinated before it's possible to keep people from being infected. Most of the confirmed cases have been children under 10.
Gov. Jay Inslee declared a public health emergency in the state this week as the number of cases of people with measles continues to rise. "We know that what we are doing is not working because we're seeing the measles outbreak". In addition, two people fell ill in Hawaii, having travelled from Washington, where they were infected.
Measles is extremely contagious, and can be serious, especially for young children.
Children receive the first vaccine between 12 and 15 months old and the second vaccine between ages 4 and 6.
"The measles vaccine isn't flawless, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", Melnick said. And the worst part of the measles outbreak would be that this virus is deadly for the majority of newborns and individuals with a weak immune system.
Measles symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. "And a few days after that, you get that famous rash", explained Alok Patel, MD, a pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
"The virus can actually live for about two hours on surfaces and in the air".