Measles cases in Europe tripled last year, WHO says
08 February, 2019, 04:10
In England and Wales, Public Health England (PHE) data shows there were 913 cases of measles between January and October 2018 - the most recent data available.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that in order to reach the measles herd immunity threshold and stop the spread, at least 93-95% of the population must be up-to-date on vaccinations. The mainstream of those infected are children, who have not been vaccinated against the disease, executives said.
Legislation in the state of NY permits vaccine exemptions for individuals who have religious beliefs against immunization.
In Clark County, the confirmed cases include two infected residents who moved to Georgia, as well as two children who had traveled to Hawaii, where they were quarantined and did not spread measles to others. The infection is easily preventable by a vaccine.
The wave of infections came despite record vaccinations across Europe in 2017. Health officials are not providing information about this individual in order to protect their privacy.
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Clark County Public Health Department Public Information Officer Marissa Armstrong said that the first case in the Clark County outbreak was a child who had traveled to Clark County from outside the country - information that was announced in the initial outbreak news release January 4.
Part of the challenge facing public health officials is that Canada doesn't have a national vaccination registry and provinces track vaccine rates differently, meaning it can be hard to get an accurate, real-time sense of how many people are up-to-date on their shots - and where pockets of low immunization are.
Of those, 72 cases killed the infected. The latest outbreak of measles started in an anti-vaccination hotspot where only 78 percent of the kindergarten through high school population had gotten their shots.
Health workers, especially those in communities, remain the most trusted advisor and influencer of vaccination decisions, and they must be supported to provide trusted, credible information on vaccines, the WHO stresses.
Looking Ahead Where will the next big measles outbreak spring up in the United States? Texas, which allows philosophical and religious vaccine exemptions, has 6 confirmed measles cases in 2019, 3 of which have been confirmed in Harris County.
"These outbreaks are associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel and Ukraine, where large measles outbreaks are occurring", the CDC says.
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