Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Medicine | By Ray Hunter

Kate Brown urges vaccines as measles cases grow to 55

Kate Brown urges vaccines as measles cases grow to 55

Measles cases in Britain tripled previous year as the disease surged across Europe.

As stated by to the state health department, orders for two types of measles medicines in Clark County increased by nearly 500 percent in January compared with the same month previous year, from 530 doses to 3,150.

This lead to distrust in vaccinations after concerns were made public by the manufacturers regarding its potential side effects.

In Clark County, Washington - where about 50 people have been infected since the outbreak started - more than 6 times as many people were vaccinated for measles from January 13 to February 2 compared to the same period past year, according to a spokesperson for Washington State Department of Health.

Similar outbreaks have been occurring in Europe: In 2017, there were 25,863 cases of measles; a year ago, that surged to more than 82,000.

World Health Organization recognised that in parts of Europe, vaccinations are growing, but the organisation says countries such as Ukraine and Romania have regressed.


"Clusters of vaccine refusers are serving as tinder for these fires", Omer says. It is also easily preventable through vaccination. There were no new confirmed cases of measles Tuesday - the first time in weeks.

"We are seeing some very large outbreaks of measles at the moment especially in places like the Philippines, Ukraine, Romania and Africa", Professor Raina MacIntyre, a biosecurity expert at the University of New South Wales said. The outbreak includes 43 cases among those who were not immunized, six cases where immunization has not been verified and one case where the person had received a single dose of vaccine.

Fifty-one of the confirmed measles cases are in southwest Washington, one is in the Seattle area and four are in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. In Madagascar, officials say more than 50,000 people have been infected with measles in recent months and more than 300 people, mostly children, have died as a result. However, it can not make us blind to the people and places that are still being missed.

Both Macartney and MacIyntre agree that Australia's biggest carriers are the pockets of not vaccinated or "under-vaccinated" older children, adolescents and young adults.

"We anticipated importation of measles from other parts of the world", Schaffner says, "but it has gained a foothold again because there are communities where a substantial proportion of children remain unimmunized". Unfounded fears of vaccinations being linked to conditions like autism have taken root in many areas of the United States, and the current situation in Washington is a great example of the kind of risk such movements pose.

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