Measles cases in Europe `highest in decade´

Desiree Burns
February 8, 2019

Since Jan. 1, 50 cases of measles have been confirmed in Clark County, with 11 more cases suspected, officials said.

The Northwest cases are among three ongoing measles outbreaks in the USA that sickened 79 people in January, according to the CDC.

And when it comes to combatting preventative diseases, the CDC says there are no alternatives to vaccination.

Demand for measles vaccine has surged in the Washington county where the highly contagious virus is linked to more than 50 confirmed illnesses this year - including among people who had previously shunned the shots.

"The measles vaccine isn't flawless, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County's health officer, said in a statement. These outspreads are induced by some parents' choice to claim philosophical and religious exemptions to state authorizations that children should be vaccinated in the context to attend school.

According to Clark County's outbreak investigation statement, all of the confirmed cases are a match of a wild strain of virus that has been circulating through Eastern Europe and is preventable through vaccination. One individual reported receiving 1 dose of the MMR vaccine.

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However, any organisms living in the area will distort that process and reflect different wavelengths of light. Lead researcher, Dr Stephanie Dutkiewicz , told The Telegraph : 'It could be potentially quite serious.

Part of the challenge facing public health officials is that Canada doesn't have a national vaccination registry and provinces track vaccine rates differently, meaning it can be hard to get an accurate, real-time sense of how many people are up-to-date on their shots - and where pockets of low immunization are.

The number of people infected with measles in the European region in 2018 is the highest in a decade, the World Health Organization said Thursday. To prevent outbreaks and eliminate measles, countries need to sustain high national and subnational immunization coverage with two doses of measles-containing vaccine, as well as identify and address all pockets of underimmunization among their populations. Of those, 72 cases were fatal.

Dr. Alan Melnick, Public Health Director and Clark County Health Officer, said that two major factors are causing the outbreak.

It could be Harris County, Texas, home of Houston, the city with an estimated 87.8% vaccination coverage, according to the 2017 data, marking the lowest percentage of MMR coverage in a metropolitan area in the United States.

"We anticipated importation of measles from other parts of the world", Schaffner says, "but it has gained a foothold again because there are communities where a substantial proportion of children remain unimmunized".

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