Vaccine demand surges amid measles outbreak

An informational sign about the measles is posted in the entrance of the Kaiser Permanente Cascade P

Some 82,596 people in 47 of 53 countries contracted measles, the highest number this decade and three times the figure in 2017.

Measles cases in Britain tripled a year ago as the disease surged across Europe.

In the United Kingdom, there were 953 measles cases past year.

At the same time, the World Health Organization said, record numbers of children are getting the vaccine - offering hope that the rise in infections may not last.

Clark County Public Health Department Public Information Officer Marissa Armstrong said that the first case in the Clark County outbreak was a child who had traveled to Clark County from outside the country - information that was announced in the initial outbreak news release January 4.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially risky viral illness that is transmitted through coughing and sneezing.

A report published by the European Commission past year 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. While data indicate exceptionally high immunization coverage at regional level, they also reflect a record number affected and killed by the disease.

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A state of emergency was announced recently in the western US state of Washington after a measles outburst that has impacted over two dozen people and the majority of them are children. Coverage with the first dose of the vaccine also increased slightly to 95%, the highest level since 2013.

"We can not achieve healthier populations globally, as promised in WHO's vision for the coming five years, if we do not work locally".

"In adopting EVAP, all countries in the European Region agreed that elimination of measles and rubella is possible, and is also a cost-effective way to protect people of all ages from avoidable suffering and death", says Dr Nedret Emiroglu, Director of the Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases, WHO Regional Office for Europe. The infection is easily preventable by a vaccine.

Vaccination coverage needs to be about 95 per cent to prevent the virus circulating in communities to create what is known as "herd immunity".

That's a huge rise in a county where vaccination rates lag - only 76.5 percent of kindergartners had all the required immunizations for the 2017-18 school year.

Measles, declared eliminated as a major public health threat in the United States nearly 20 years ago, has re-emerged this winter in the Pacific Northwest and other states where parents have relatively broad leeway over whether to vaccinate their children.

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