Saturday, 25 May, 2019

53 cases of measles confirmed in southern Washington state

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Anna Jefferson | 14 February, 2019, 21:56

7, Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III declared a measles outbreak in five regions in the country: National Capital Region, Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon), Central Luzon, Western Visayas, and Central Visayas.

The report comes as both Canada and the United States face another year of measles outbreaks such as one now underway in Washington State and OR, where support for anti-vaccination has been notable.

"We are working very hard to find out how measles may have been introduced into our community", she said.

Washington state is in the midst of yet another measles outbreak, with over 50 cases already and a public health emergency declared in Clark County.

What caused the meteoric rise in numbers of measles cases this year? While they did not specifically mention other vaccines, the hype they created around the issue was sufficient to cause many Filipinos to fear vaccines that have been a part of healthcare protocol for children for decades.

Both of Whitman County's representatives in the House say they support vaccinating children, but they want to tread carefully when it comes to eliminating parents' choices.

Measles is a highly infectious disease that can be spread through the air or through sharing food, drinks, cigarettes or kissing an infected person.

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"We actually don't know enough about the influence of misinformation available online upon vaccination intentions and behaviors", Habersaat says.

Now state health officials are urging people in Pennsylvania to make sure they are up-to-date on immunizations.

Spokespeople at the Fraser, Interior, Island and Northern health authorities said Wednesday that they had not heard of any suspected or confirmed cases of the disease in their regions. Four of those states - Colorado, Oregon, Texas, and Washington - allow for philosophical exemptions.

As measles continues to grow throughout the country, it seems the concern among health officials is growing, too. Of the 70 who have died from measles since the start of 2019, 79 percent were not vaccinated, according to Rappler citing Department of Health figures. People who have previously had the infection do not need immunization.

And, pregnant women who have not received the vaccine should take extra care to avoid exposure to possible infection. This offers protection for people who are unable to get vaccines for health reasons, like HIV or cancer. Most of the infected are children between 1 to 10 years old and were not vaccinated for the virus.

In Canada, immunizations are not mandatory. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 79 cases of measles were reported in January of this year, more than a fifth of the total in all of 2018 - a still too high 372. The CDC defines a measles outbreak as three or more cases, and it said the events are linked to travelers who were exposed in other countries such as Israel and Ukraine where large outbreaks are underway.

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