Measles cases in Europe `highest in decade´

Measles cases in Europe `highest in decade´

Measles cases in Europe `highest in decade´

Measles is considered to be highly contagious; the virus can linger in the air for two hours after an infected person is in the room, and people may be contagious without knowing that they are infected, according to the CDC.

A measles outbreak in parts of Washington and OR have prompted a discussion about vaccines.

"State and local health officials now need to work with their state legislatures to close the loopholes that allow non-medical exemptions for reasons of personal belief, as was done previously in California", said the study's lead author, Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, in a previous interview with Contagion.

Public health officials in OR and Washington reported a combined 56 confirmed cases of measles.

It comes as the city of Washington in the United States declared a measles state of emergency, and the measles death toll in south-east Asia continues to rise.

World Health Organization recognised that in parts of Europe, vaccinations are growing, but the organisation says countries such as Ukraine and Romania have regressed.

According to monthly country reports for January to December 2018 (received as of 01 February 2019), 82 596 people in 47 of 53 countries contracted measles.

He said that while demand for the vaccine is increasing, there appears to be a good supply.

Adult vaccination numbers in the county also rose.

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Orders for two types of measles vaccines in Clark County were up almost 500 percent in January compared to the same month past year, jumping from 530 doses to 3,150, according to state health department figures.

Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe, said: "The picture for 2018 makes it clear that the current pace of progress in raising immunisation rates will be insufficient to stop measles circulation".

But it's a snapshot of the scare an outbreak can cause, said Dr. Alan Melnick, the Clark County health officer overseeing the response.

Part of the challenge facing public health officials is that Canada doesn't have a national vaccination registry and provinces track vaccine rates differently, meaning it can be hard to get an accurate, real-time sense of how many people are up-to-date on their shots - and where pockets of low immunization are. Last year, 372 measles cases were confirmed nationwide, the most since an outbreak in 2014 sickened 667 people.

Over the past three months, Australia has also seen a spate of measles cases.

The case has not been linked to any other cases at this time, the health department said. However, it can not make us blind to the people and places that are still being missed.

From Washington State Department of Health.

"We heard rumblings of a measles outbreak in the capital between December and January and I just knew we were going to get hit", Lon Kightlinger, a former South Dakota state epidemiologist and regular Peace Corp volunteer in Madagascar, tells CNN.

Both Macartney and MacIyntre agree that Australia's biggest carriers are the pockets of not vaccinated or "under-vaccinated" older children, adolescents and young adults.

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