'We are Going to Have More:' Measles Threat Grows

A measles outbreak near Portland Ore. has revived a bitter debate over so-called “philosophical” exemptions to childhood vaccinations. MMR protects against measles mumps and rubella

One case of measles confirmed in Bell County

The 2018 surge in measles cases followed a year when European countries achieved their highest ever estimated coverage for the second dose of the measles vaccination - 90% - the World Health Organization said.

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.

Non-Medical Exemptions and Measles Hotspots In June 2018, Contagion® reported on a study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, conducted by Peter Hotez, MD, PhD of Baylor College of Medicine's National School of Tropical Medicine in Houston, Texas, and colleagues. Measles cases have now been reported in all major Madagascan towns and cities and throughout rural areas as well. Measles cases in the Philippine capital region also surged 10 times at the start of the year, as the government failed to hit its immunization target in 2018.

Separately, five additional cases were confirmed in the Houston metro area Monday, including two boys younger than 2 in Harris County, prompting health officials to urge residents to "protect their children and themselves from this disease by getting vaccinated".

The European Vaccine Action Plan 2015-2020 (EVAP) lays out a strategy endorsed by all 53 Member States to eliminate both measles and rubella.

"This means that gaps at local level still offer an open door to the virus". "These diseases come back and they clobber us if we are not protected".

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Europe had a record number of measles cases past year, in part due to a growing number of pockets where parents are refusing to vaccinate their children, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

Forty-three European countries interrupted transmission of endemic measles for at least 12 months as of the end of 2017. It is here that we must now concentrate increased efforts. "Together we can make this happen", concludes Dr Emiroglu.

Measles spreads through direct contact or through the air.

That's a huge rise in a county where vaccination rates lag - only 76.5 percent of kindergartners had all the required immunizations for the 2017-18 school year.

Also fueling the spread of measles are adults who received only one shot of vaccine, instead of the two routinely given today, and may now need booster shots, Jankovic said.

Most of the countries struggling with suboptimal immunization coverage against measles in the Region are middle-income countries.

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