Measles Outbreak Spurs Vaccination Surge in Anti-Vaxxer Hotspot

A doctor administer's an injection

Health officials have attributed the surge in measles cases and deaths to lack of vaccination. The patient is receiving care.

Carrie Stefanson with the health authority says there's no reason to issue a public alert, although health officials do contact places an infected person has been if they are still contagious. Typically, measles patients can be treated at home, rather than in hospitals, Hussain said.

Separately, the federal government has issued travel health notices regarding measles outbreaks in Europe, Africa and South America. As of Saturday, 54 cases had been confirmed.

Of the 53 cases confirmed, 47 involve people who had not been immunized.

If you are unsure of your family's immunization status, you can view, download and print your family's immunization information online at wa.MyIR.net or request a copy of your immunization record from the Washington State Department of Health.

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Vancouver Coastal Health is insisting a public advisory isn't necessary and there is no risk to the public. If you're susceptible and you haven't been vaccinated, you can be in a room two hours after somebody with measles left and still catch it.

Measles symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. People who have previously had the infection do not need immunization.

House Bill 1638, would look to eliminate those personal and philosophical exemptions as related to the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine - more commonly known as the MMR vaccine - but would allow for religious and medical exemptions.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control tracks child immunization and reports that 82.1 per cent of children aged seven had been immunized for measles in 2018, compared to 88.4 per cent in 2017 and 90.2 per cent in 2016.

Across Canada, only a single new case of laboratory-confirmed measles was reported between December 30, 2018, and January 26, 2019, according to Health Canada's most recent measles and rubella monitoring reports.

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