Measles infections hit decade high in Europe

Lynn Cook
February 8, 2019

Using the 2015 National Immunization Survey, the investigators determined that there is an inverse association between non-medical exemption rates and MMR vaccine coverage in states that allow the exemptions and identified several metropolitan areas with high exemption rates that could make them vulnerable to measles outbreaks.

Experts can't say for sure where the next outbreak might be.

The trend continued over the next two weeks, with more than 1,000 getting vaccinated each week.

We're not just going to criticize Clark County, though - because while that's where more than 20 measles cases have broken out this month, it's not the only place in the region where a sizable minority of young children are not being vaccinated.

The "anti-vaxxers" movement still thrives in many pockets of the United States.

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Symptoms include a high fever, coughing, runny nose and watery, red eyes between seven and 14 days after infection, the U.S. DCPH encourages individuals with signs and symptoms of measles to contact their health care provider prior to visiting.

A report published by the European Commission a year ago and compiled by a team led by Larson found that measles immunization coverage has fallen in 12 EU countries since 2010, and that seven out of the 10 countries with the lowest vaccine confidence in the world are in Europe. It's now reintroduced after someone who travels outside the country gets infected.

"For example in Romania there have been prominent and profiled people in the media speaking against vaccines and that is having a real influence on people's perceptions", Macartney said. It is also easily preventable through vaccination.

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

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is recommended for children because it protects against three potentially serious viral illnesses.

Europe is not the only country impacted by a spike in measles cases.

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But it's a snapshot of the scare an outbreak can cause, said Dr. Alan Melnick, the Clark County health officer overseeing the response. Five of the cases involve children, at least some of whom had received one round of the vaccination.

The secretary general of the ministry of health told CNN that more than 50,000 people have caught the disease since October 2018 and there have been more than 300 deaths - mostly children.

Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement that the outbreak " creates an extreme public health risk" that could spread throughout the state. Many proponents claim, without evidence, that vaccinations can cause autism.

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.

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