Almost 70 people diagnosed with measles in Oregon, Washington outbreak

Almost 70 people diagnosed with measles in Oregon, Washington outbreak

As an outbreak in Vancouver sparks debate over mandatory vaccination, health officials in Manitoba say measles cases in the prairie province are rare.

In response, the Ministry is now conducting a campaign targeting all children ten years and younger as well as front line workers such as Police, Customs and Immigration Officers, Health Care Workers and Hospitality industry workers.

Measles is considered highly contagious and can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Interior Health says as of now, there are no confirmed cases of measles in the region.

Pan, who four years ago successfully led an effort to get rid of personal and religious vaccine exemptions in his state, said he thought national leaders might take a different approach than what Gottlieb suggests to increase vaccination rates.

Out of approximately 1,900 total staffers, 166 state Department of Health staff members, working approximately 8,700 hours, have been assigned to the measles outbreak so far, according to Lindquist. The disease can also be fatal. It is preventable with a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine given in two doses.

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However, some people - infants, those with certain underlying health conditions and patients undergoing chemotherapy - can not be vaccinated and must rely on high vaccination levels within their community in order to be protected from infection by so-called "herd immunity". "You have to go through a registration system", Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday. The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires parents or guardians to provide proof of vaccination before their child can attend school.

"So I think what we want to stress is that right now is really a good time to make sure you are up to date with two doses of measles vaccine if you were born after 1970, because we are seeing these importations", she said.

Stefania has done a series of media interviews asking the BC NDP government to make vaccinations mandatory - at least for school-aged children.

Almost all states allow children to attend school even if their parents opt out of vaccines.

Given that cases tend to come in waves, Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jay Inslee, said there is not an end date for the state of emergency he declared on January 25, which allows Washington to get resources from other states. "But I think we can do more".

- With files from Dirk Meissner in Victoria.

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