Canada could see large amount of measles outbreaks, health experts warn

Faith Castro
February 8, 2019

Using the 2015 National Immunization Survey, the investigators determined that there is an inverse association between non-medical exemption rates and MMR vaccine coverage in states that allow the exemptions and identified several metropolitan areas with high exemption rates that could make them vulnerable to measles outbreaks.

Measles cases in Europe tripled between 2017 and 2018 to 82,596 - the highest number recorded this decade, data from the World Health Organization shows.

Ukraine recorded the highest number of measles cases in Europe in 2018, at 53,218. Fifty cases of the highly contagious disease were in Washington State.

Julie Graham, a spokesperson for Washington State Department of Health, said that vaccine rates in Clark County have jumped up dramatically both among children and adults. However, there are 11 people who display symptoms of measles and are awaiting the results of blood work to confirm the diagnosis. The outbreak in Clark County has been concentrated mostly among unvaccinated children. Forty-two patients were not immunized against the virus, while health officials had not verified the immunization status of six patients.

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Area health clinics are scrambling to keep up with sudden demand, mostly among parents of children who had not been inoculated.

"It should be a wake-up call. not only for every person [and] for every health center in Madagascar, but for the whole world", Kightlinger tells CNN, noting that some Americans choose not vaccinate their kids, while in Madagascar low vaccine rates are typically due to lack of access. This is consistent with testing from the first known case (a child) from this outbreak in WA.

For information about additional exposure sites in Oregon, linked to the confirmed case in Multnomah County, visit the Oregon Health Authoritymeasles webpage. Other collected outbreaks of highly and deadly contagious, but vaccine-preventable diseases are turning exasperatingly routine across the country. Numerous articles these organizations produce closely resemble scientific articles, Melnick says.

Although we are left to speculate about the next location of a measles outbreak, it's clear that if vaccination coverage does not increase, it will only be a matter of time until we find out. In Quebec, it's 85 per cent and in B.C., it's 73 per cent. Experts say vaccination rates need to be 90 to 95 per cent in order to achieve herd immunity, which stops the spread of infectious disease.

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