US Northwest measles outbreak revives debate over vaccine laws

Measles Outbreak Got Traction Due To Anti Vaxxer Movement

US Northwest measles outbreak revives debate over vaccine laws

Health officials say the outbreak is a textbook example of why it's critical to vaccinate against measles, which was eradicated in the US after the vaccine was introduced in 1963.

Measles cases are continuing to spike in Washington state. "The rate of measles in the US recently jumped from an average of 60 cases a year to 205 cases annually", the Mayo Clinic says.

Public Health is not providing any additional information about the one case with one dose of MMR in order to protect the patient's privacy, according to the news release. The county has had most of the diagnosed cases so far. Of the 41 confirmed cases, 37 are people who were not immunized and four are unverified. Doctors say the disease spreads so quickly because it can linger for hours after an infected person has left the room.

"I would hope that this ends soon, but this could go on for weeks, if not months", said Dr. Alan Melnick, public health director in Clark County, Washington, just north of Portland. "We know that what we are doing is not working because we're seeing the measles outbreak".

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They announced Monday that others could have been infected at the popular Oregon Museum of Science & Industry in Portland and a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington.

In short, a harsh measles outbreak hit the United States this year, and the main reason why the virus spread so fast across the young populations is the anti-vaxxer movement which considers vaccines as harmful for children. One dose of the measles vaccine gives 93 percent lifelong immunity; a second dose between ages 4 and 6 provides 97 percent immunity. DOH urges everyone to check their immunization records to verify that they are fully immunized and get vaccinated if they are not already. And the worst part of the measles outbreak would be that this virus is deadly for the majority of newborns and individuals with a weak immune system.

Early symptoms include a fever, runny nose and malaise, followed by a red rash that starts around the head and moves down the body. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.

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