Europe had a record number of measles cases previous year, in part due to a growing number of pockets where parents are refusing to vaccinate their children, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says. Seattle, Washington; Spokane, Washington; and Portland, Oregon-all 3 of which surround Clark County, Washington, the site of the latest measles outbreak in which 50 cases have been confirmed since January 1, 2019. The outbreak includes 43 cases among those who were not immunized, six cases where immunization has not been verified and one case where the person had received a single dose of vaccine.
Legislation in the state of NY permits vaccine exemptions for individuals who have religious beliefs against immunization.
Most of the countries struggling with suboptimal immunization coverage against measles in the Region are middle-income countries.
For one, Washington is one of only 17 states that permit children to get a non-religious exemption to attend school unvaccinated, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a person has measles, 90 per cent of those in proximity will also contract the virus unless they have been vaccinated or are immune.
In Clark County, 34 of the cases were among children age 10 or younger, while just two were among patients older than 18.
In many countries, anti-vaccine campaigners seek to dissuade parents from getting their children immunised, despite strong scientific evidence that vaccines are safe and effective.
The percentage of children receiving the first dose of the vaccine also increased, to 95%.
What Other Cities Are at Risk?
With more suspected cases, the outbreak isn't close to being over, officials said.
The measles vaccine, which is cheap and 97% effective at preventing the disease, has never been shown to be linked to any autism or any of a number of other conditions or disorders that the "anti-vaxxer" community has attempted to pin on it.
It could be Harris County, Texas, home of Houston, the city with an estimated 87.8% vaccination coverage, according to the 2017 data, marking the lowest percentage of MMR coverage in a metropolitan area in the United States. Three were confirmed in Harris County and one each in Galveston, Montgomery and Bell counties.