Published: Sun, February 03, 2019
Medicine | By Ray Hunter

The anti-vax movement's role in the latest measles outbreak

The anti-vax movement's role in the latest measles outbreak

East Wenatchee, WA - Although Chelan and Douglas Counties do not now have a confirmed case of measles, public health officials are working closely with school districts and healthcare providers throughout Chelan and Douglas County to ensure students and staff are up-to-date on their vaccines. There has also been an exposure in Bend, Ore., but no confirmed cases in that area yet. The highest number of infections there in over two decades and more cases are popping up in states across the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is outlining the scope of the outbreak, and detailing what can be done to stop it in its tracks. Anyone who becomes sick or thinks they may have been exposed to measles should contact their health care provider immediately and let them know that you may have been exposed to measles.

One anti-vaxx mom's post went viral after she asked members of the private Facebook group "Vaccine Education Network: Natural Health Anti-Vaxx Community " how to protect her child from measles. When a person has been vaccinated as recommended, the vaccine is up to 97 percent effective in preventing measles.

You can request a copy of your vaccination records from the Oregon Health Authority by printing out this online form.

Signss posted at The Vancouver Clinic in Vancouver, Washington warn patients and visitors of a measles outbreak that has sickened 40 people in the Pacific Northwest and has spread to Hawaii and Oregon. That's a real and even deadly threat not just to kids whose parents oppose vaccinations, but also to kids who for valid medical reasons can't be vaccinated and for babies who are too young to be inoculated.

The virus, spread by coughing or sneezing, can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space.

Early symptoms include a fever, runny nose and malaise, followed by a 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. You may be told to stay home until you're no longer contagious. If exposed to the virus, anyone who is not immune is likely to get measles.

The best protection against measles is the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella viruses.

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