Northwest US Measles Cases Prompt Look At Vaccine Exemptions

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"The revelation prompted public health officials in Oregon's Deschutes County and in Hawaii to issue alerts, although no cases were confirmed in either location", the AP reported.

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Since then, widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99 percent reduction in measles cases compared with the pre-vaccine era.

Surrounding counties also have more than 90 percent of their school-age children protected from the measles. Although Chelan and Douglas Counties do not now have a confirmed case of measles, public health officials are working closely with school districts and healthcare providers to ensure students and staff are up to-date on their vaccines.

Measles cases are continuing to spike in Washington state.

Free MMR vaccines are available by calling the Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2497 or 845-364-2520 to schedule an appointment to get a free MMR vaccine at the Pomona health complex.

Why, exactly, are the measles so risky?

Measles is a highly contagious virus that usually lasts from seven to 10 days. Anyone who becomes sick or thinks they may have been exposed to measles should contact their health care provider immediately and let them know that you may have been exposed to measles. There are four cases with unverified vaccination records, and 37 people who are unimmunized.

Measles is an extremely contagious disease, mainly spread through respiratory droplets. Serious complications include brain swelling that can cause blindness or deafness and pneumonia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is outlining the scope of the outbreak, and detailing what can be done to stop it in its tracks. The first dose of the MMR is typically given when a child is 12 to 15 months old. Thus, the anti-vaxxers refuse to immunize their kids against some of the most prevalent diseases, including the measles virus. "With vaccinations, just to see those rates drop so dramatically, that's been the treatment". "The rate of measles in the US recently jumped from an average of 60 cases a year to 205 cases annually", the Mayo Clinic says.

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