Canada could experience the same type of measles outbreaks that Washington and NY states are now facing because of low vaccination rates and the highly contagious nature of the virus, public health experts warn.
Graham did say the State Health Department has confirmed that every Washington case of measles since the first confirmed case has matched the same wild strain of measles the first case had. Among the confirmed cases, 43 were not immunized against the highly contagious disease.
Legislation in the state of NY permits vaccine exemptions for individuals who have religious beliefs against immunization.
Vaccination rates in Clark County and throughout the state have gone up since the outbreak was first reported. In Clark County, the epicenter of the measles outbreak, the immunity rate of residents aged 6-18 is only.
Washington and OR are among 17 states that allow non-medical exemptions from vaccination requirements for school entry, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. There are now 3 suspected cases in individuals who received the vaccine more than 72 hours after exposure.
"During an outbreak is when you see an influx of patients who would otherwise be vaccine-hesitant", said Virginia Ramos, infection control nurse with Sea Mar Community Health Center, which runs six sites that offer vaccines in Clark County.
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A report published by the European Commission previous year and compiled by a team led by Larson found that measles immunization coverage has fallen in 12 EU countries since 2010, and that seven out of the 10 countries with the lowest vaccine confidence in the world are in Europe.
The surge in measles cases in 2018 followed a year in which the European Region achieved its highest ever estimated coverage for the second dose of measles vaccination (90% in 2017).
What Other Cities Are at Risk?
The investigators noted in their report that ending non-medical exemption policies results in increased MMR coverage. Last year, 372 measles cases were confirmed nationwide, the most since an outbreak in 2014 sickened 667 people.
"Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles", Denton County public health director Dr. Matt Richardson said in a written statement.
Looking Ahead Where will the next big measles outbreak spring up in the United States?
"There's no reason we should be having this outbreak", says Melnick.