Are Measles Epidemics The New Normal? Lower Vaccination Rates Making Communities Vulnerable To The ‘Exquisitely Contagious’ Disease
“If you have a population that is unvaccinated, it’s like throwing a match into a can of gasoline,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County’s public health director. The latest outbreak of measles started in an anti-vaccination hotspot where only 78 percent of the kindergarten through high school population had gotten their shots.
The New York Times:
‘A Match Into A Can Of Gasoline’: Measles Outbreak Now An Emergency In Washington State
Measles, declared eliminated as a major public health threat in the United States almost 20 years ago, has re-emerged this winter in the Pacific Northwest and other states where parents have relatively broad leeway over whether to vaccinate their children. Seventy-nine cases of measles have been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since the start of this year. Fifty cases of the highly contagious disease were in Washington State. (Johnson, 2/6)
No New Vancouver-Area Measles Cases -- But Don’t Relax Yet
As the count of people with measles climbs toward 50, Clark County Public Health announced a short reprieve. There were no new confirmed cases of measles Tuesday -- the first time in weeks. However, there are 11 people who display symptoms of measles and are awaiting the results of blood work to confirm the diagnosis. One day without a new measles case might seem an indicator of hope the outbreak is over, but it unfortunately doesn’t necessarily indicate the end. (Harbarger, 2/5)