Local health officials urge people to get measles vaccine

06 February, 2019, 11:40 | Author: Cynthia Curry
  • Tribune editorial Don’t fall for anti-vax scare campaigns

Measles, the highly contagious and previously eliminated viral illness, has been spreading in communities across the United States in recent weeks, with Washington declaring a state of emergency last week and NY reporting in 2018 its second largest outbreak over the past two decades.

Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat.

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The staggering number of children suffering from and dying from the current measles outbreak in this country is reprehensible ("Officials urge vaccinations amid Northwest measles outbreak", Web, Jan. 28). A second dose between the ages of four and six will boost the immunity to 98 percent.

In the same report, the top five reasons for non-vaccination were 1) mother was busy, 2) not eligible for vaccination, 3) child was sick, 4) fear of side effects and 5) forgot the schedule.

If a person with measles is in a room and simply coughs, a person that is in the same room and it is not vaccinated, can get the virus from the droplets in the air.

Will Connecticut be the next state to be inundated with cases of the measles?

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Measles is highly contagious.

California state Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician who sponsored his state's bill, said he got death threats over it and had anti-vaccination advocates jam his phone lines and harass him on social media. In Europe, in the fast half of 2018, there were more than 41.000 cases, which is a very high record for a post-vaccine era. As of 2000, measles was declared eliminated in the United States or no longer constantly present, though spot outbreaks occur. Approximately 30 percent of reported cases have one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections or diarrhea. Most of the outbreaks we have seen over the years have started in areas where there are high numbers of unvaccinated children.

The National Vaccine Information Center, which opposes mandatory vaccination laws, said it opposed that bill and the current one.

He said there is no way for a person to protect themselves, except for the vaccination. The Oregon Health Authority said a Multnomah County resident had been diagnosed with measles January 25. If a child does not complete the full series of immunizations in the first two years, he/she may be vulnerable to a disease that should have been prevented.

"That tells you how effective the vaccine is", he said.

"We make a lot of decisions in our life around parenting; unfortunately, this is one that not only impacts the decision you have made for your child but also impacts other children and persons around them", Sammons added. Severe cases are not common, especially to younger children with healthy immune systems.

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