Monday, 20 May, 2019

These Are The U.S. Counties Where Measles Could Strike Next

4 Florida counties including Orange could be at high risk of measles outbreak analysis shows Having immunity to measles is crucial because the illness can lead to serious medical complications
Gustavo Carr | 13 May, 2019, 10:42

Two other Texas counties made the list, as well. Broward County ranked seventh, Orange County was 14th and Hillsborough was 17th.

"These outbreaks can only happen if someone brings measles into the country and there's a low vaccination rate in a population", Gardner explained.

As of late April, the USA has seen more than 700 cases of measles this year, the highest number in decades. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper was retracted from The Lancet.

The annual number of measles cases in Australia has ranged between 10 and 340 since 2000, with the spike attributed to returned travellers. "So this whole time, we've basically been seeing the outbreak evolve as the patterns we predicted are happening", study co-author Lauren Gardner, an associate professor of civil engineering at Johns Hopkins, told Gizmodo by phone.

Health authorities focused on reviewing all students' immunization records after an outbreak that began earlier this year. "I don't think that it should be presented as unique to a religious exemption even though it technically is in NY state, but the idea is that unless there is a medical reason to not vaccinate, it really is a public health issue and we have an obligation to protect other children who are in school, even if it means that all of us have to work together and some of us need to put aside our personal beliefs about vaccines".

Their numbers are up from 2014, when 734 students - or 5.59 percent of those enrolled in the county - received religious exemptions.

While the rise of anti-vaxxers has contributed to this global increase in measles transmission, the movement does not appear to have had much of an impact in Australia.

The recent spike in cases, the researchers say, is due to reintroduction by worldwide travelers from countries experiencing measles outbreaks, compounded by low-vaccination rates in certain localities, which an increasingly visible anti-vaccination movement fuels.

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"Our prediction is aligned with multiple counties that have experienced measles outbreaks this year". None of the patients had been vaccinated, they said.

The analysis combined global air travel volume, non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccinations, population data, and reported measles outbreak information.

The epidemic will worsen, researchers warn, as more and more parents choose not to vaccinate their children.

The WHO said persistent pockets of Europe remain unvaccinated or under-vaccinated, which has allowed the virus to take hold in certain countries, such as Romania, France, and Italy. The researchers warned the most at-risk areas that have yet to report a case are those with worldwide airports, such as Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

A recent surge of measles cases in the United States has seen outbreaks in 23 states and the declaration of a public health emergency in New York City.

In 2015, the New York Times reported on a single case of measles at Disneyland in Anaheim, which eventually led to a 147-case outbreak that not only spread across California but traveled to several other states as well.

Last week she said, "Because of measles' long incubation period, we know this outbreak will get worse before it gets better".