Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Medical | By Bryan Strickland

Washington vaccination rate spikes as measles outbreak continues

Washington vaccination rate spikes as measles outbreak continues

"We're hopeful and any time we see that there are no new exposure locations that's helpful", said Marissa Armstrong, spokeswoman for the Clark County Public Health.

Europe had a record number of measles cases a year ago, in part due to a growing number of pockets where parents are refusing to vaccinate their children, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says. While data indicate exceptionally high immunization coverage at regional level, they also reflect a record number affected and killed by the disease. Forty-three of the patients in southwest Washington were not vaccinated against the disease and one patient had one shot of the two-shot series.

Measles is one of the most highly contagious viruses in existence, which makes the prospect of an outbreak frightening.

Washington state Rep. Paul Harris (R-Vancouver) has introduced a measurethat would remove personal belief exemptions for the MMR vaccine.

As the count of people with measles climbs toward 50, Clark County Public Health announced a short reprieve. That's up from an average of 189 over the same period in previous years. Lower vaccination rates can lead to higher death rates. That's up from about 200 each week.

Only two provinces, Ontario and New Brunswick, require children to have updated vaccination records in order to enter school. That's more than double the numbers reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in mid-January. That's up from an average of 60 over the same period in other years.

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This means that if an infected person coughs or sneezes in a room, and then leaves, an unvaccinated person who enters the room two hours later can still get measles. Put more simply, it is a disease no one wants to watch their child suffer. That's up from an average of 1,225. It is also easily preventable through vaccination.

Children and adult vaccinations rates across the state rose, especially in the first week of February.

As stated by to the state health department, orders for two types of measles medicines in Clark County increased by nearly 500 percent in January compared with the same month previous year, from 530 doses to 3,150.

The Department of Health (DOH) declared a measles outbreak in Metro Manila with a spike in measles in cases, while placing several regions under tight watch.

With more suspected cases, the outbreak isn't close to being over, officials said. And the News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune's own reporting on publicly available vaccination data found that Swallowtail School and Farm, with campuses in Hillsboro and Cornelius, had the highest percentage of students who were not immunized at more than 20 percent.

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