Washoe Health Department urges measles vaccination

Washoe Health Department urges measles vaccination

Clark County officials say they now have 38 confirmed cases and 13 suspected cases. And the potentially deadly disease is making a comeback mostly in unvaccinated children: Of the total reported cases, 32 were in unvaccinated people, 25 of whom were children under the age of 10.

The two-dose vaccine against measles was introduced in 1978 in the United States, and by 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared it 'eliminated'.

As the number of cases and geographic reach expands in Southwest Washington's measles crisis, state lawmakers are looking to revisit who can opt out of vaccinations.

There has been one confirmed case in Multnomah County, Ore., and another in King County.

Health officials say low vaccination rates in local schools are one big reason for the outbreak, which has been declared a statewide public health emergency. "It's still out there, even though it's been debunked, that the measles vaccine results in autism".

They announced Monday that others could have been infected at the popular Oregon Museum of Science & Industry in Portland and a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington. Pre-vaccine, measles was the cause of deafness, encephalitis or death for some children.

Thirty-one of the confirmed patients had not been vaccinated against measles.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 349 cases of measles in the U.S.in 2018, whereas the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control reported that in just the month of November 2018, there were 385 cases reported in 16 countries in the European Union. "The good news is that Utah has no measles cases".

Officials still are not sure where the Northwest outbreak began. The first known patient sought medical care on December 31, but it isn't known if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment.

Children receive the first vaccine between 12 and 15 months old and the second vaccine between ages 4 and 6. One dose of the MMR vaccine is about 93-percent effective at preventing illness.

But the vaccine is less effective in those under a year old and is generally not given to infants.

None of the infected people were vaccinated and they are no longer contagious.

The exposure at Minnehaha, from 3:45 to 7:45 p.m. January 17, did occur after school, but given how close the exposure was to the end of a regular school day, Public Health is still implementing the same exclusions as they've done at other schools. The virus lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person, and can survive for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed.

The Department of Public Health reports that they notified others who may have been exposed but "outside of the family noted above, there are no reports of secondary cases of measles".

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