What Do MDs Say About the Measles Outbreak of 2019?

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																	Texas lawmaker says vaccines should be optional because antibiotics exist					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehner

Science Texas lawmaker says vaccines should be optional because antibiotics exist Mike Wehner

- Doctors around the country are encouraging parents to get their children vaccinated in the wake of a major measles outbreak in Washington state.

The World Health Organisation reports that cases worldwide had soared almost 50 percent in 2018, killing around 136,000 people.

The report warned that measles is highly contagious - "more so than Ebola, tuberculosis, or influenza".

"What is particularly disconcerting, is that this is a public health problem for which science has already provided a solution: a safe and effective vaccine", said Chairman Frank Pallone, Democratic Representative for New Jersey.

With the recent rise in measles cases here in Canada and overseas, the World Health Organization (WHO) is now calling anti-vaxxers one of the 10 greatest threats to global health for 2019. For example, "a number of studies have shown that emphasizing the serious nature of diseases like measles actually make some parents less likely to accept the vaccine", he said.

The new surge in cases has not "happened overnight", she added.

UNICEF said that Ukraine, the Philippines and Brazil saw the largest increases in measles cases from 2017 to 2018. In the Philippines last year were diagnosed 15.599 people, since the beginning of the year you have registered there 12.736 other cases.

"This is just another reason that everybody else that is able to get the vaccine should get it as there is something called herd immunity where people are immunized around them, so people who can not get immunized are protected from the disease", she added.

Whether or not to vaccinate children against measles by using the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) shot was a debate in Washington Wednesday.

That brings the number of cases in the Portland, Oregon bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington, to 68 - more than 40 per cent of the number reported nationwide since January 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated statistics released Friday. "I urge parents not to take any risks that may jeopardize their children or other children in their community".

While there is no treatment for measles once someone becomes infected, officials said the vaccines are very effective in preventing people from catching the illness.

Measles travels through the air and can linger in an enclosed space for up to two hours.

"Almost all of these cases are preventable, and yet children are getting infected even in places where there is simply no excuse", Fore said.

"Measles may be the disease, but all too often the real infection is misinformation, mistrust and complacency".

"Vaccine hesitancy is the result of a misunderstanding of the risk and seriousness of the disease regarding the safety and effectiveness of vaccines". In fact, the number of measles cases increased six-fold between 2017 and 2018, reaching 791 cases.

They recommend that anyone born between 1957 and the early 1970's get re-vaccinated if traveling overseas, or to a part of the USA that has seen a recent measles outbreak - including New York, Texas, Washington, and IL.

Even though it has been declared eliminated in America, "measles continues to circulate globally, which means unvaccinated United States travelers can be exposed to measles and bring it back home with them", Messonnier said at the hearing.

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