Jefferson County reporting first case of measles

Desiree Burns
March 14, 2019

The Fraser Health Authority confirmed a 17th case of measles in Metro Vancouver last week linked to initial exposures in Vancouver.

The DHB says it's highly infectious - and anyone unvaccinated who's within two metres of someone with measles has a 90 percent chance of catching it.

"The resurgence of measles is of serious concern, with extended outbreaks occurring across regions, and particularly in countries that had achieved, or were close to achieving measles elimination", said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director General for Programmes at WHO.

New Zealand's Health Minister David Clark on Tuesday urged people to ensure their vaccinations are up to date as more MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is sent to Canterbury in the South Island to deal with the ongoing measles outbreak.

Doctors blame the increase on more people choosing not to get vaccinated.

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With Canterbury health centers running out of vaccines since the start of the outbreak in late February, 3,000 MMR vaccines had been brought by Sunday (March 10) and 18,000 more are to be delivered to the region by Wednesday.

It's the second case in North Texas this year.

Anyone who does not have immunity can get measles, but children are most vulnerable to the illness. According to the World Health Organization, identifying and confirming suspected measles and rubella cases through surveillance allows early detection of outbreaks, analysis of on-going transmission in order to mount more effective vaccination measures, and estimation of the underlying true incidence based on the patterns in reported data.

For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die.

The highly contagious disease can spread through coughing and sneezing, and the virus can live for up to two hours in the air or on a surface. Before scientists developed the vaccine, between 3 and 4 million people caught measles and 500 died from it each year in the US, according to the agency. Mann says Measles can spread rapidly - and the initial symptoms of the disease can be a bit vague.

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