Measles outbreak grows in anti-vaccination hot spot


Between 1985 and 1992, death from measles was reported in approximately 2 out of every 1,000 United States measles cases, with pneumonia accounting for about 60% of these deaths, according to the CDC. Recently, and closer to Chambers County, three cases of measles were reported in Atlanta, with two cases were confirmed January 13 and the most recent on January 26. Yale-New Haven Hospital is treating the two infected patients.

Local health officials in Hamilton County say as long as people are not getting vaccinated the potential spread is possible.

Some parents refuse to have their children vaccinated due to religious or philosophical reasons or they might have heard from others about someone who became violently ill after being vaccinated.

At least 10 USA states have reported cases of measles so far in 2019, including Washington, where an outbreak is to blame for 50 cases. One victim had had one MMR vaccine, but not a follow-up shot.

"The single best way to protect yourself and your children from measles is to be vaccinated", said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino.

Both vaccines are typically given in two doses to young children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1 child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis - swelling of the brain - that can lead to convulsions, deafness or intellectual disability. Washington and NY, which has seen about 200 people infected with measles in recent months, are the only states with current outbreaks, the agency says.

"More than 240 million doses of measles vaccine were given in the USA from 1963 through 1993", explained Dr.

Since January, there have been 49 confirmed cases in Washington state - majority children. Clark County reported that 42 of the 49 patients had not been vaccinated against measles.

"The measles vaccine isn't ideal, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness", said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.

Washington isn't the only state grappling with the disease.

At least three of the children affected by the highly contagious disease had received their first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, according to KHOU.

According to the Mayo Clinic, people who are unvaccinated, travel to developing countries or have a vitamin A deficiency are more likely to catch the measles. Disrupted health services, including routine vaccinations, along with overcrowding in residential camps increases the risk of infection.

There had been studies that show that parents consider HCPs as the most important source of information when deciding whether their child should be given a vaccine.

Children should get the vaccine twice- once between 12 and 15 months old and the other from four to six years old.