The measles outbreaks from Washington have all the health officials worry about a disease that was eliminated from the United States almost 20 years ago.
The Washington state has even declared a public emergency after the outbreak happened in Clark County, where at least 53 people got infected, from which most of them were children. Four other cases have been confirmed in Multnomah County, Oregon, and another one in King County, Seattle.
In 2017-2018, 0ne in four Clark County kindergarten students did not get all of their immunizations. In three other schools from the country, more than 40% of the kindergarten students did not get their recommended shots before they started school.
It’s very dangerous to have a large number of unimmunized people, especially when there are outbreaks everywhere, due to the fact that it will spread very quickly.
What’s the plan of the public health departments?
All the public health departments want to immunize about 95% of the population against measles, and they want to create herd immunity. These vaccines would protect against the contagious virus, that can get even spread through the air. It can also help people who cannot get the vaccine because they have other medical conditions to take care of.
State laws require parents of children who are in school to show a proof of the immunization or simply claim an exemption before the school begins.
There are three states that do not allow a parent to reject vaccinations for a non-medical reason, like religious or personal beliefs – California, Mississippi and West Virginia. The high risk is when there are many unvaccinated children gathered in a single setting, like a school or a church.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.