Northwest US Measles Cases Prompt Look At Vaccine Exemptions

Anti-vaxx mom asks how to protect her son from measles outbreak. The internet delivered

Anti-vaxx mom asks how to protect her son from measles outbreak. The internet

More than a half-dozen more cases are suspected, and people who were exposed to the disease traveled to Hawaii and Bend, Oregon, raising the possibility of more diagnoses in the unvaccinated.

"What keeps me up at night is eventually having a child die from this completely preventable situation", Melnick said. There have also been three reported cases in Atlanta. For more information on the current measles outbreak, please visit Washington State 2019 Measles Outbreak. When enough people around them are immunized, they can live within a kind of protective tribe of disease-free people, and are thus relatively "immune" to illnesses like measles. The highest number of infections there in over two decades and more cases are popping up in states across the U.S.

Dr. Messonnier contends that there are no other alternatives to vaccination and that best way to stop this outbreak in its tracks is to make sure that everybody gets vaccinated.

The CDC also says 81 people brought measles into the USA from other countries last year-the greatest number of imported cases since the measles was eliminated from the 2000. 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. More than 4% of students there received a religious exemption. When a person has been vaccinated as recommended, the vaccine is up to 97 percent effective in preventing measles.

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Jocelyn Smith is terrified her youngest son, who is 11 months, will get measles.

"What a lot of people don't realize is that it's one of the most contagious viruses we've ever known", says Alok Patel, MD, a pediatrician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

The Washington State Department of Health, for example, has instituted an infectious disease Incident Management Structure to manage the public health aspects of the incident through investigations of possible cases, laboratory testing and other efforts to protect communities around the state.

Symptoms of measles can often be similar to cold or flu symptoms, including: fever, diarrhea, coughing, runny nose, red and watery eyes, and fatigue.

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