Health Care

Measles outbreak in Philippines prompts Public Health to issue warning

Measles outbreak in Philippines prompts Public Health to issue warning”

In Clark County, the hardest hit in Washington, 63 confirmed cases of measles have been reported as of Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The head of the US Food and Drug Administration says that if states don't require more schoolchildren to get vaccinated, the federal government might have to step in. Children normally receive their first dose at the age of one and a second dose between the ages of four and six. The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is publicly-funded and available from pharmacists in almost every community, the association said in a news release Friday.

"While there are some people who are expressing opposition to immunization, and others who can't be immunized for medical reasons, some people simply fall through the cracks of the system", Mr. Dix told reporters. Others at risk are those who choose not to be immunized, often based on a long-discredited 1998 United Kingdom study that suggested the MMR vaccine was linked to autism in children.

Rates for Island children entering Grade 1 this past year was over 95 per cent, Morrison said.

"If you've made the choice to not vaccinate your children, then you should give parents the choice to not let their children near kids who have the potential to infect them or get sick", said parent Naomi Lee.

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He said he hoped that the measles outbreak would make state officials realize that they needed to get stricter on exemptions.

Mandatory reporting is an idea that's been kicked around before but never implemented through legislation.

"It's a frightful idea", said Zedler, who has fought efforts to get rid of religious and personal exemptions in his state. "In addition, we do need to do a better job of positively encouraging people ... that vaccines are both effective and safe". An unvaccinated child contracted the disease during a family trip to Vietnam.

"I'm not in favour of mandatory immunization, of forcing people to do something against their will", said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C's Provincial Health Officer.

"They've been shown to increase immunization rates", says Hu.

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There is also one person suspected of having measles, but bloodwork has not yet confirmed the diagnosis.In little more than a week, almost 10 more people have been diagnosed with measles, breaking a weeklong lull in new cases.

"The Kootenays have one of the lowest immunization rates, and it's not just for measles or for MMR; it affects other vaccines as well".

It starts with fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.

Complications include ear infections that can lead to deafness, blindness, pneumonia and encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.

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