Measles Outbreak Sends Vaccine Demand Soaring, Even Among The Hesitant

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The Oregon Health Authority said Wednesday that measles was confirmed in the three people Wednesday but that they pose no risk to the public.

The inquiries for measles remedy has risen sharply in Washington County, where this year the highly contagious virus is associated with more than 50 incidents of the illness, involving people who have previously avoided vaccinations.

In the WHO's European region, which covers almost 900 million people, some 82,600 in 47 countries contracted measles past year - the highest number this decade.

Melnick added that while 78% of schoolchildren in Clark County are vaccinated, some schools have much lower rates. The outbreak in Clark County has been concentrated mostly among unvaccinated children.

Vaccination rates for measles, mumps and rubella in Ukraine fell sharply over a number of years during its conflict with Russian Federation, reaching 31% in 2016 - among the lowest in the world. There are now 3 suspected cases in individuals who received the vaccine more than 72 hours after exposure. If adults aren't sure whether they are still immune, another dose of vaccine won't do them any harm and could help prevent infection, he said.

Some 95% of children received the first dose of the vaccine.

Although there have been no cases reported at the University of Portland, Kaylin Soldat, family nurse practitioner at the Health and Counseling Center, wants students and parents to know how crucial vaccinations are.

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The surge in measles cases in 2018 followed a year in which the European Region achieved its highest ever estimated coverage for the second dose of measles vaccination (90% in 2017). But the university can grant an exemption through a student's personal medical provider.

"These outbreaks are associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel and Ukraine, where large measles outbreaks are occurring", the CDC says.

And leading health officials are stressing the importance of getting vaccinated.

Looking Ahead Where will the next big measles outbreak spring up in the United States?

Dr. Hotez said that the research team is now conducting a follow-up study to investigate the social and political demographics of the urban and rural hotspot areas to help public health officials understand the vaccine hesitancy movement.

In their letter, the PPS and PIDSP have also given a recommendation for individuals older than 12 months without a history of measles disease, not pregnant, with no immunocompromising conditions or allergic reaction to a previous dose of measles-containing vaccine.

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