After the governor of Washington declared a state of emergency in connection with a measles outbreak on January 25, BC residents travelling south of the border are being warned to take proper precautions to prevent infection.
Two confirmed cases of measles in Hawaii were in unvaccinated children who traveled to Hawaii from Washington state. There has been one case so far this year, in an adult traveller returning from the Philippines.
So why the emergency declaration?
In Friday's statement, Inslee said, "Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children".
Symptoms of measles typically appear between 10 to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 percent of non-vaccinated individuals exposed to someone with the disease will also become infected.
Virginia does allow vaccine exemptions for religious and medical reasons. And most of those kids are un-immunized. The CDC attributed the jump to primarily unvaccinated people in the Orthodox Jewish communities in New York state, New York City and New Jersey. In the remaining cases, authorities had not yet verified their immunization status.
What is measles, how does it spread?
In Clark County, however, vaccination rates have been dropping. But given the high rate of non-vaccination in "hotspot" areas, Peter J. Hotez, a professor of pediatrics and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, tells Stanley-Becker that he isn't surprised that outbreaks are happening. By 2017-2018, only 84 percent of kindergartners had.
Indeed, recent measles outbreaks like the one in Disneyland in 2015 are thought to be fueled by vaccine refusal as vaccination rates drop below the levels needed to provide herd immunity.
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Children under the age of one can not be immunized. People who are not killed by the disease may still develop serious, lifelong complications. "And we have a vaccine that is known to be very safe and wildly effective".
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If his bill passes, any parent who sends their children to public school will not be allowed to use a personal exemption to not vaccinate their kids. "They're not going to be protected".
For more information about measles, see: bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/measles on the BCCDC website.
The counties' public health officials urge those who believe they or their child have contracted the disease to contact their medical office and plan a visit.
You should immunize your children. The measles vaccine is 98 percent effective.
Swanson worries that sometimes the media coverage about measles outbreaks makes it seem there is a nationwide crisis over vaccination, but that's not true.
Clark County has already spent more than $100,000 trying to contain the outbreak, and staff is being pulled from other duties, including restaurant inspections, he said. "Because the panic and frustration parents can feel is if their children are in a more vulnerable position because of decisions made by other people".