A rapidly escalating measles outbreak near Portland, Oregon, has led health officials in nearby Clark County, Washington, to declare a public health emergency as they warn people infected with the highly contagious virus who have attended schools and churches, a dental office, a Costco, an Ikea and an Amazon locker. Someone with measles was on January 7 at the Concourse D of Portland International Airport, which advised the district health minister. An infected person visited the home game of Portland Trail Blazers on January 11th.
At the beginning of last week, there were only a handful of confirmed cases. On Friday, the day the emergency was declared, there was 1
The outbreak substantiates the fear of pediatric epidemiologists that a citadel of the forced-motion movement might be susceptible to the rapid spread of a potentially deadly disease. [19659005"Esistalarming"DouglasJOpelChildrenatSeattleChildren'sHospitalinWithanInterviewwithWashingtonPost"Everytimewehaveanoutbreakofdiseaseforsafeandeffectivevaccinesitshouldsetanewflag"
According to the government, 7.9 percent of Clark County's children in school 2017-2018 are exempt from the tax year for vaccines eligible for entry into the United States Nursery programs include the two-dose course for measles, which is 97 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Only 1.2 percent of children had medical dispensation, which means that almost 7 percent were not immunized for personal or religious reasons. About two percent of the children had no required vaccinations nationwide for medical reasons.
The high rate of non-medical vaccine exemptions makes the Portland area, located across the Columbia River from Clark County, a hotspot for outbreaks. According to Peter J. Hotez, Professor of Pediatrics and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.
"I've been predicting that for some time," he said of the public health emergency in Clark County. "It's really horrible and really tragic and absolutely preventable."
Of the confirmed cases, 18 patients are between 1 and 10 years old. Twenty of the infected individuals had not been immunized against measles and the history of the other three remained unconfirmed. One person was hospitalized.
Experts pointed out that the outbreak might still be in its infancy. The incubation period of the virus averages two weeks, and it can be spread four days before the onset of a rash.
Because measles are among the most contagious infectious diseases, it can occur in areas of high contagion with low vaccination rates, Hotez said. He followed up on this effect last year in a publication in the Public Library of Science, in which the number of philosophical exceptions that has risen since 2009 in 12 of the 18 states where this is possible is linked to increasing outbreaks.
The problem is particularly pronounced The paper found in more than a dozen hotspot metropolises, including Portland and Seattle in the northwest, Phoenix in the southwest and Detroit in the Midwest.
Public health experts raise alarms about the geographical accumulation of people refusing to immunize, which leads to weak spots despite the high overall vaccination coverage. In November, Asheville, NC, another stronghold of the anti-vaccine movement, the worst outbreak of chickenpox, has died since a vaccine against the infection was available more than two decades ago.
"Portland is a total train accident when it comes to vaccination coverage," Hotez said in an interview with The Post.
The plea of vaccination in the Pacific Northwest dates from the Progressive Era and continues despite serious medical breakthroughs. The modern anti-vaccination movement, based on the exposed research published in 1998, which linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, known as the MMR vaccine, to autism, is not entirely on one side of the political divide, according to polling data He tends to find his most ardent supporters at both extremes.
Masles is an annoying price for the indulgence of vaccination, Hotez warned, calling the disease "one of the most serious infectious diseases known to humanity." smallpox was eradicated in 1980, measles became the world's leading killer of children, In 2000, public health officials said that measles was eliminated in the United States because more than a year passed without the disease being transmitted. The recent outbreaks, however, provide evidence of a dangerous relapse in the containment of the virus, said Hotez, accusing the vaccine movement. "This is a self-inflicted wound," he said.
In 2015, a woman in Northwest Washington died of pneumonia after being infected with measles. It was the first US death since 2003 by the virus.
According to the CDC, the second highest number of reported measles cases since 2000 has been reported last year. A total of 349 cases were confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia, which were only exceeded by the 667 cases in 2014. Orthodox Jewish communities were at the center of several outbreaks in New York and New Jersey last year after unvaccinated travelers returned with a virus from Israel fighting an outbreak. The year before, Minnesota reported more than 75 cases of measles, especially in a Somali community where the discredited theory that had funded the MMR vaccine on autism was used.
Because measles are still endemic in parts of the world, so Opel, "periodic introduction" He often lead here to outbreaks. "
To prevent transmission of the highly contagious virus, a high level of protection is required. Somewhere between 92 and 94 percent of the population need to be immunized. Clark County is already below that level, he said, "before you include other things, such as people missing out on their appointments."
The health department of the district emphasized how easily the virus spreads and can stay in the country for two hours. Air from a room in which an infected person was.
"If other people inhale the contaminated air or touch a contaminated surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they may become infected," the district warned Tuesday in a statement. "Measles is so contagious that if a person has it, 90 percent of people who are close to the person who is not immune will become infected as well."
While the disease often starts with cold symptoms and a rash, doctors emphasized that many infected individuals have additional complications, including pneumonia and, in severe cases, brain inflammation known as encephalitis and even seizures.
"It's not a benign disease," Opel said.
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