Washington state limits exemptions for measles vaccine

Q&A: With measles on the rise, vaccine is still best defense

According to researchers at the University of Texas, Orange County placed No.14 in the most at-risk areas. The state's mandate covers measles vaccines, and legislators there are considering adding other vaccinations to the list.

Miami-Dade is the most susceptible county in the Sunshine State, ranking third in the nation. Harris County ranked ninth and Tarrant County ranked 12th. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license and the paper was retracted from The Lancet. Travelers are coming to the USA from measles-stricken countries. Some counties in these states could still be at risk for further outbreaks, according to their model, as could states that haven't experienced one yet, such as Hawaii, Minnesota, Utah, and Virginia.

Only four months into 2019, the number of measles cases reported in the U.S.is "already the highest since measles was declared eliminated in 2000", the report said. Non-kindergartener students had a higher rate of vaccination (94.46 percent) which is encouraging.

PBS reported that the 700-plus total so far is the highest on record since 1994, when 963 cases of measles were reported.

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"Local health authorities are working hard to contain the diseases spread, but we are concerned that there is a risk of measles becoming established in New Zealand again".

The Columbia County Health Department also has no reported cases of measles: a spokesperson who declined to go on mic says officials are engaged in "daily surveilling".

The epidemic will worsen, researchers warn, as more and more parents choose not to vaccinate their children. "It is therefore critical that we proactively identify areas most likely to experience outbreaks to strategically target for surveillance and control", says Lauren Gardner, an associate professor of civil engineering at The Johns Hopkins University and one of the study's corresponding authors.

After San Diego's Hepatitis A outbreak in 2017 and the likelihood of measles traveling down from LA county this year, Khambata urges students to practice basic health and safety etiquette.

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The catch-up program is the first step in the government's two-phase plan to educate people about the importance of immunization and help them become aware of their own vaccination status. "Pertussis - whooping cough - is another disease making a comeback because of dropping vaccination rates, and we predict serious outbreaks in the U.S.in the near future". It was based on the growing number of children and adults affected by and dying from the disease, and the persistence of pockets of non-immunized or under-immunized individuals in many countries fuelling the continuing spread of measles.

USA counties at highest risk not only had high rates of non-medical exemptions, but also proximity to airports with high volumes of global air travel, according to a modeling study by Sahotra Sarkar, PhD, of the University of Texas in Austin, and colleagues.

They said their risk analysis correctly predicted reported measles outbreaks in Washington, Oregon and NY.

According to the study, India, China, Mexico, Japan, Ukraine, Philippines, and Thailand, pose the biggest measles threats to the United States.

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