Colorado ranks lowest among the states for vaccinations. State Rep. Kyle Mullica wants to change that. News on measles outbreaks comes out of Oregon, Japan and South Carolina, as well.
A Colorado state lawmaker is drafting legislation to eliminate an exemption that allows parents to opt out of vaccinating their children for personal reasons. The Denver Channel reported Friday that Democratic Rep. Kyle Mullica has begun drafting the bill, which would make it more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccinations. (Bowden, 2/23)
Multnomah County may have a fifth person infected with measles, county health officials said Sunday. Four people have been diagnosed with measles who were exposed to the highly contagious virus from the Clark County outbreak. This latest case is being treated as a confirmed case, bringing the county’s county up to five so far in 2019, but is not confirmed. However, health officials say that the person shows enough indications of measles to notify the public of places where the possibly infected person visited. (Harbarger, 2/24)
The Clark County measles outbreak grew to 65 confirmed cases and one suspected case Saturday. That represents an increase of one confirmed case from the previous day. The latest individual to come down with the disease hadn’t been immunized, and was between the ages of 1 and 10. Saturday’s new case brings the total to 70 confirmed cases associated with the Clark County outbreak: There also have been four confirmed cases in Multnomah County and one in Seattle in a man who’d visited Vancouver. (Green, 2/24)
Health officials in Japan are combating the country’s worst measles outbreak in years, with many infections clustered among attendees of a Valentine’s Day gift fair and a religious group that avoids vaccinations. A total of 167 cases were reported in 20 of Japan’s 47 prefectures as of Feb. 10, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said, with the largest outbreaks in the prefectures of Mie and Osaka. It is the fastest Japan has reached that many cases at the beginning of the year since 2008. (Ramzy and Ueno, 2/22)
In 2017, Kim Nelson had just moved her family back to her hometown in South Carolina. Boxes were still scattered around the apartment, and while her two young daughters played, Nelson scrolled through a newspaper article on her phone. It said religious exemptions for vaccines had jumped nearly 70 percent in recent years in the Greenville area — where they had just moved from Florida. She remembers yelling to her husband in the other room, “David, you have to get in here! I can’t believe this.” (Olgin, 2/25)
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