Measles outbreak grows in anti-vaccination hot spot

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The urgent call as an outbreak of the disease continues in Washington state, NY and Oregon. Other possible infection sites in Portland include an Amazon Locker location and stores such as Costco and Ikea.

He advised families to check their immunization records.

Measles can be spread through direct contact and as an airborne virus.

The overall vaccination rate for children entering kindergarten in California rose to 95 percent in the two years after the law passed.

"In a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons: an increase in the number of travelers who get measles overseas and bring it into the USA and/or further spread of measles in US communities with pockets of unvaccinated people", the CDC website says. They said they'd also identified seven suspected cases of the disease. In the rare case of deficiency, vitamin A can be used to prevent severe complications of measles, including blindness and death. Those opposed to certain vaccines also object to an outside authority mandating what they put in their children's bodies, and some have concerns about the combination of the measles vaccine with the mumps and rubella immunizations, which is how it's routinely given.

Vitamin A is found in many foods, such as spinach, dairy products and liver.

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"The increase in the anti-vaccine people is because they have never seen the disease", Leisner said. Most side effects are mild, and it does not cause autism. Pregnant women are especially cautioned against taking vitamin A, as it has been shown to cause birth defects.

A 9-year-old Vancouver boy infected with measles wasn't vaccinated because his parents feared he would have an allergic reaction, the boy's father said this week. In general the first dose is usually given at 12 to 15 months and the second dose at 4 to 6 years, but it can be given as early as 6 months if there is a risk of exposure (as an extra dose - it doesn't count as the first of two doses and has to be given after 12 months), and the second dose can be given as soon as 28 days after the first.

"These outbreaks are associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel and Ukraine, where large measles outbreaks are occurring", the CDC says. If everyone receives the vaccine with proper doses, herd immunity is achieved.

A person with measles will themselves be most infectious to others in the period four days before and after the rash appears.

The virus can linger in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves the area, and causes fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash.

Dr. Shamard Charles is a physician-journalist for NBC News and Today, reporting on health policy, public health initiatives, diversity in medicine, and new developments in health care research and medical treatments.

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