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Mom urges parents to vaccinate kids after measles outbreak

13 February 2019
Mom urges parents to vaccinate kids after measles outbreak

In Italy, where the current governing coalition had pledged to drop a law banning children without vaccination from starting pre-school (the coalition has since reversed its position), health officials have declared a 'measles emergency, ' as nearly one quarter of all measles cases in Europe in 2017 were reported in Italy.

Federal health officials say 101 measles cases had been reported in 10 states this year as of February 7. Despite measles being officially declared "eliminated in the United States" in 2000, the number of measles cases have been increasing ever since, with 79 cases already in 2019, majority in Washington state. People who have never received a measles vaccine are susceptible to the disease, which can be deadly.

"For 16 years I haven't received any vaccinations", Ethan Lindenberger told KTLA sister station WJW. on Monday. Other outbreaks in NY past year affected areas that included Orange County, but no new cases have been reported in 2019.

The anti-vaxxer movement is under scrutiny following a recent measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest, where 40 cases have been confirmed, mostly in children under the age of 10.

Outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County have been ongoing since past year, and have been concentrated among Orthodox Jewish communities.

In 2018, 26 states and the District of Columbia reported 372 confirmed cases of measles, a preliminary tally but the second-highest since the disease was declared eliminated in the 2000.

The WHO report on measles in Europe found that the virus killed 72 children and adults in the European Region in 2018, while 82,596 people in 47 of 53 countries contracted measles, a number which is the highest it has been this decade. It causes fever, red eyes, cough, runny nose and a rash.

Herd immunity against measles requires that 90-95% of the entire population are immune, whereas vaccination coverage is measured as the percentage vaccinated of the target population - which only includes people who are eligible for vaccination.

One of the lowest rates in the state belongs to a school in Walworth County.

His mother, Jill Wheeler, vaccinated her eldest daughter and eldest son, but refused to do the same for five younger children, including Lindenberger, when she realized she wasn't required to do so by law. Demand for vaccinations has skyrocketed in Clark County, Kaiser Health News reported, with requested orders of the vaccine reaching 3,150 doses in January, up from 530 in the same period a year ago. In Washington, lawmakers heard testimony last week on a bill that would remove the ability of parents to claim personal and philosophical exemptions from the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine for their school-age children.

Only three states prohibit all non-medical exemptions. As we've seen with the measles outbreak in Washington and OR, there is a very real risk when parents buy into those half-truths, according to CBS News' Dr. Tara Narula.

If you have questions or need the immunization, call your local health department and ask if they give the vaccine.