Washington measles outbreak sends vaccine demand soaring, even among the hesitant

Modesto Morganelli
Febbraio 7, 2019

Last year there were 372 cases and this year, as of January 31, the Center for Disease Control has confirmed 79 cases.

Officials say vaccinations levels are falling in several Texas counties, and anything below a 95 percent vaccination rate is considered unsafe.

Statewide in Washington, orders for measles vaccine jumped about 30 percent, climbing from 12,140 doses to 15,780 doses, figures showed.

The vaccines include MMR, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella, and MMR-V, which also protects against the varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox.

To further limit the spread of the virus, health officials ask that people who think they might have measles call their doctor or health care provider before visiting a hospital or doctor's office. "The science is completely clear that childhood vax are not only good because they prevent all of these frightful illnesses, but they are also completely safe". "I would rather it not take an outbreak for this to happen", Alan Melnick, the Clark County health officer overseeing the response, told KHN.

- One case of measles has been confirmed in Bell County.

In Texas, officials said several counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Houston areas saw a high number of parents requesting non-medical exemptions to vaccinations rules last summer.

Most of the infections have occurred in children, under age 18, who were unvaccinated. Four of the cases involve children under the age of 2, while the fifth involves a woman in her 30s, news station KHOU reported.

"Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent measles", Denton County public health director Dr. Matt Richardson said in a written statement.

Outbreaks, or clusters, of measles cases are typically due to exposure in foreign countries that do not have the same robust vaccination programs as the United States, Espinoza said. The case count is rising swiftly, with figures more than doubling in just the last two weeks.

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