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Measles outbreaks challenge public health systems



Hawaii also reported two cases of measles among travelers who had become infected prior to their visit to the Big Island in Washington.

Measles are infectious viruses that spread through the air due to coughing and sneezing. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one or two out of every 1,000 children suffering from measles die of complications.

The first case in this outbreak is due to an international traveler in Clark County who had contact with community groups with low vaccination coverage, Wiesman said. US Department of Health officials identified eleven health facilities, 13 schools and day care centers, and more than 100 public facilities, including businesses where people may have contracted the virus, he said.

"There are still new cases every week and almost every day," said Wiesman. "We fully expect cases to occur in more counties."

In Washington, a state of emergency was imposed to stem the spread of infection, where resources from other public health services, such as nurses, visited.

State health officials from Washington, California and New York spoke Wednesday of the recent and previous measles outbreaks in a call organized by the Association of State and Territorial Health officials.

New York also experiences a measles outbreak in attentive Jewish communities and comes from trips to Israel.

There have been 209 cases since October, according to the New York State Department of Health: 64 cases in Brooklyn and 1

45 cases in Orange and Rockland County.

Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner, said five patients had been hospitalized, including one in the intensive care unit, even though everyone had gone home. Another case was reported in a watching community in neighboring New Jersey.

  The vaccination of a child is a gift to others

As a result of this outbreak were more than 6,000 Unvaccinated children have been excluded from school for over two months, Zucker said. Public health officials have spoken with parents, pediatricians and rabbinic leaders both in the US and in Israel to discuss the issue and promote the vaccine.

"Over 14,000 children [were] vaccinated as a result of this message," Zucker said, acknowledging that while there may be "many reasons why people do not vaccinate," "sometimes it's just parents" at the lackadaisical- "Not that their children are shot on time."

The vaccination rates are low in certain communities, with only 60% of the children being vaccinated, but the state has a total vaccination coverage of 96%, Zucker said.

The Measles vaccine – known as MMR or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine – is very effective, one dose is about 93% effective to prevent the contagious disease when you come into contact with the virus, two doses are about 97% effective. It is recommended that children receive the vaccine in two doses: the first between the ages of 12 and 15 months and the second between the ages of 4 and 6.

Dr Karen Smith, California State Director and State Health Officer Ministry of Public Health, recalled an outbreak that began in January 2015 in Disneyland.

  In some states, parents can stop vaccinations. Then it happens

Your state received 136 cases related to the outbreak, with 20% leading to hospitalization. "We were able to stem the outbreak within two months," Smith said, adding that the total cost of care without treatment exceeded $ 4 million.

Smith also noticed a silver streak on this cloud. As a result of the outbreak, SB277, a law that restricts vaccination exemptions to medical indications for school-age children, was eventually imposed. The vaccination rates increased by 4.7%, and as of the 2018 school year, the rate of over 95% vaccinated children is in the state, Smith said.

High fever, rash on the whole body, stuffy nose and red eyes are typical measles symptoms that usually disappear within two to three weeks without treatment.

Wiesman stated that measles in a window of four days before and four days after the rash can be infectious for a period of up to 21 days. Worse, the infection can linger in a room for up to two hours after leaving an infected person, so that an unvaccinated person can get infected.

By 2019, nine states have reported measles cases, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Ministries of Health: Washington, Hawaii, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Colorado, California and Georgia.

Wiesman said his state usually sees five measles cases per year if there is no outbreak.

"It's pretty simple: you prevent measles outbreaks by getting the measles vaccine," he said, adding that reluctant parents should ask questions to their doctor.


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