Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing bemoaned what's called "vaccine hesitancy", meaning when people refuse or delay vaccinations. Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), the subcommittee's ranking member said that one of his close childhood friends "was essentially born without a hand" after the friend's mother contracted rubella during her pregnancy. Frank Pallone, D-N.J.
And that could be fueling new and risky measles outbreaks in the state, a new study finds.
"Measles can have a lot of complications, so it can cause pneumonia, it can cause encephalitis - that means swelling of the brain - and in some cases, it can cause gaff", Daskalakis explains.
Q: How does it spread?
Measles is a serious viral infection that is easily spread through the air by little droplets in connection with a simple cough or sneeze.
The city's Health Department on Thursday pleaded with parents to vaccinate their children against measles, as an outbreak in Brooklyn has grown exponentially since October.
Q: How widespread is measles?
Just 10 countries accounted for about three-quarters of the total rise, according to UNICEF, which analyzed data from the World Health Organization. Since the year 2000, we've had a massive reduction in the cases of measles and deaths from measles. Unvaccinated Americans traveling overseas, or foreign visitors here, can easily bring in the virus.
In the Philippines so far this year, there have been 12,736 measles cases and 203 deaths recorded, compared to 15,599 cases in the whole of 2018. Fauci responded that children with vitamin A deficiency who get measles "have a much more hard course, so vitamin A [supplements] can actually protect you from some of the toxic and adverse effects", but that doesn't apply in developed countries where such deficiencies are rare. Two shots are required, one around the first birthday and a second between age 4 and 6.
"Approximately 90% of children under 13 years old are fully immunised with two doses of MMR vaccine". For example, an outbreak in Washington state is linked to a community where only about 80 percent of children were properly vaccinated. "The sad thing is, this is a completely solvable problem, because we have a safe and very effective vaccine". More recently, before the modern measles vaccine was developed in 1963, more than 48,000 people were hospitalized-and around 500 people died-each year in the USA alone.
Still, misinformation about MMR safety is widespread.
Chun said that people who are concerned about contracting measles should talk to their doctor.
Dr McElnay says many teenagers and young adults have missed one or both doses of the vaccine, and may be unaware that they are not immune.
Q: Why isn't everyone vaccinated? Now there are no cases of measles in the state, but Health Promotion Director Cindy Farr says there is a possibility measles could reach Montana.
None of this sits well with activists who want their states to maintain personal and philosophical exemptions.