Northwest measles outbreak revives debate over vaccine laws

Posted February 03, 2019

They live in Camas, Washington, where at least one infected person spent time while contagious.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last week declared a state of emergency due to the outbreak, which authorities have said could last for months.

The revelation prompted public health officials in Oregon's Deschutes County and in Hawaii to issue alerts, although no cases were confirmed in either location. The county has had most of the diagnosed cases so far.

The declaration came on January 25 when the number of confirmed cases reached 26. That raises the possibility of more cases among the unvaccinated.

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Thirty-seven of those cases include people who were not vaccinated with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. "The recommended two doses of the measles vaccine provide even greater protection - 97 percent". Plano and Fort Worth were specifically mentioned for high exemption rates.

Collin and Tarrant counties were singled out in a national survey as anti-vaccination "hotspots" for non-medical vaccine exemptions among school-age children. In Oregon, which has a similar law, 7.5 percent of kindergarteners in 2018 were missing shots for non-medical reasons.

USA officials scrambling to contain a measles crisis in the USA are warning people to vaccinate their children, fearing it could take months to contain the outbreak due to a lower-than-normal vaccination rate at the epicentre of the crisis.

The cheap and incredible effective measles vaccine found itself at the heart of an incredible idiotic controversy in the late 1990s when a since-retracted report linked it to autism in children. The states of OR and Washington are now dealing with an outbreak of measles, which had previously been eliminated in the entire United States as recently as 2000. It's scheduled for a public hearing in Olympia on February 8.

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But in recent years, there's been a resurgence of the disease both in the United States and overseas, and experts believe its return is fueled by anti-vaccination laws, groups and lobbies, experts say.

"We're trying to respond to a very specific concern here and recognize that there may be broader concerns we can consider down the road", Stonier said.

Washington lawmakers have responded appropriately by introducing a bill that would end the personal belief exemption.

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