New analysis predicts top 25 USA counties at risk for measles outbreaks

Measles cdc

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a measure removing parents' ability to claim a personal or philosophical exemption for their children from receiving the combined measles, mumps, rubella vaccine before attending a day care center or school. At this level of vaccination, it is extremely hard for the virus to spread in a community, providing protection for children who are not vaccinated due to medical illness, conscientious objection or being too young.

Before mass vaccination, 400 to 500 people in the USA died of the measles every year. Travelers who visited parts of Southeast Asia where measles outbreaks had occurred brought the disease to California, but those cases did not expand into a major outbreak because of high vaccination rates in the state, the Times said.

Those rates hold steady next to the state's overall vaccination rates, which remain above 90 percent. "It wasn't even on our radar because it's not a state that has personal belief exemptions".

Germany's move follows the same debate that's still raging across the world: whether vaccines should be a choice or a rule.

As the bill made its way through the Legislature, it drew the attention of anti-vaccine opponents, who flooded public hearings with concerns that vaccines would harm their children.

The authors say places like these should be kept under close surveillance because they "could serve as the fulcrum of continuous importation of the measles virus into the US".

Fears over measles outbreaks are not theoretical.

In 2012, a man returning to Australia from Thailand became the first case in an eight-month outbreak that ultimately affected 167 people across southwest Sydney. In Italy, the numbers jumped from 76 cases in December to 172 cases in January, though they fell slightly to 160 new cases in February. In the U.S., widespread use of the vaccine has led to a 99 per cent reduction in measles cases compared with before the vaccination programme began. From Jan. 1 through May 3, 764 cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states.

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"In Washington state we believe in our doctors".

Furthermore, the vast majority of counties that have reported measles cases as of April 2019 are included in team's top 25 at-risk counties or lie adjacent to one of the top 25 counties.

The World Health Organization says 95 percent of a population needs to be vaccinated against measles for what is called "herd immunity", providing indirect protection that prevents infection in people too young or sick to be vaccinated. The petition has gathered steam in recent days, and now stands at around 94,000 signatures.

"With measles, you can get it just through the air".

The epidemic will worsen, researchers warn, as more and more parents choose not to vaccinate their children.

If you would like to avoid getting a second shot, you can also get bloodwork done and medical professionals will tell you if you have a strong immunity to the measles.

"We find it [to be] a good proposal", said Dr. Hermann Josef Kahl, the spokesman for the German Association of Pediatricians.

Hotez said that these maps can help target public health vaccination efforts where they're needed most.


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