The anti-vax movement's role in the latest measles outbreak

Measles Outbreak Got Traction Due To Anti Vaxxer Movement

The outbreak near Portland has sickened 35 people in OR and Washington since January 1, with 11 more cases suspected.

Thirty-one of the Clark County cases are between the ages of 1 and 10; 10 are between 11 and 18; and one case is between 19 and 29.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel notice for Kazakhstan, where health officials have reported a measles outbreak.

In New York, they've had more than 200 cases since October. Washington also has a higher-than-average percentage of vaccine exemptions. Of these, approximately 500,000 cases were reported each year to CDC; of these, 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 developed encephalitis (brain swelling) from measles. There are dozens of locations in total, including hospitals, Portland International Airport and multiple schools. Only one case occurred in a person who was vaccinated. The King County measles case involved a middle-aged man who visited Clark County where he likely contracted the virus and has since recovered. Now, according to an expert, the measles outbreak across the United States got traction due to the before-mentioned anti-vaxxer movement. Don't go to school, work, to the store or to other people's homes. More than 4% of students there received a religious exemption.

"Vaccines are really the only effective treatment", said Dr. Nathan Schlicher at St. Joseph Medical Center's Emergency Services Department. And the worst part of the measles outbreak would be that this virus is deadly for the majority of newborns and individuals with a weak immune system. In addition, two people fell ill in Hawaii, having travelled from Washington, where they were infected.

California state Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician who sponsored his state's bill, said he got death threats over it and had anti-vaccination advocates jam his phone lines and harass him on social media.

Democratic Rep. Monica Stonier of Vancouver, a co-signer on the bill, said she would prefer an even broader proposal, but "right now we're looking at what we can get moved".

The virus, spread by coughing or sneezing, can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space. People are contagious long before they show symptoms and nearly everyone who is not immune through vaccinations will get measles if they are exposed to the virus.

Early symptoms include a fever, runny nose and malaise, followed by a rash that starts around the head and moves down the body.

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