Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Canada could see large amount of measles outbreaks, health experts warn

Canada could see large amount of measles outbreaks, health experts warn

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially risky viral illness that is transmitted through coughing and sneezing. Experts says the Islamic State has played a role too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children get two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine - one between 12 and 15 months and the second between ages 4 and 6 - to be fully protected against measles. Vaccination within 72 hours of exposure to the virus can limit the severity of the disease or prevent the exposed person from getting sick.

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.

Looking Ahead Where will the next big measles outbreak spring up in the United States?

Previous year 82,600 people in 47 European countries contracted measles. It's now reintroduced after someone who travels outside the country gets infected.

But while the disease had virtually disappeared in much of the developed world, it has recently returned with a vengeance - in part thanks to rising vaccine hesitancy. It is also easily preventable through vaccination.

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".

Measles, declared eliminated as a major public health threat in the United States nearly 20 years ago, has re-emerged this winter in the Pacific Northwest and other states where parents have relatively broad leeway over whether to vaccinate their children. Julie Graham, a public information officer with the Health Department, said those reports are inaccurate. "There are some more isolated, unvaccinated communities, for example the Amish, where we haven't seen a major outbreak".

Since the beginning of the year, things have been looking increasingly grim in parts of OR and Washington due to a measles outbreak that has affected dozens of people. More children in the Region received the full two-dose series on time, according to their countries' immunization schedules, in 2017 than in any year since World Health Organization started collecting data on the second dose in 2000.

In the US, 79 cases of measles have been reported so far this year - already one-fifth of last year's total.

"We are feeling this in every country even if at a national level we have good health policies in place".

Vaccination rates in King County - where the other single measles case in Washington was is located - also went up. Many proponents claim, without evidence, that vaccinations can cause autism.

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