As the number of people infected tops 120 in three states, the media looks at the seriousness of the disease and how it is transmitted. News about the outbreak comes out of Iowa, California and Washington, as well.
Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but scattered outbreaks have occurred in recent years. This year there have been five — in New York, Texas, and Washington State — for a total of more than 120 cases. Here’s what you need to know about the disease and the risk of getting it. (Belluck and Hassan, 2/20)
The Iowa state Senate Tuesday rejected a bill Tuesday that would have prohibited health insurance providers and insurance companies from discriminating against people who refuse to get vaccinated. The Associated Press reported that a Human Resources subcommittee voted down the bill that would have created the Vaccination Safety and Right of Refusal Act. The vote was 2-1, with a Democrat and a Republican teaming up to defeat the bill. (Axelrod, 2/19)
The number of people with measles held steady at 67 on Tuesday, but Clark County Public Health has identified more potential locations where people might have been exposed to measles. There is also one person suspected of having measles, but bloodwork has not yet confirmed the diagnosis. …In little more than a week, nearly 10 more people have been diagnosed with measles, breaking a weeklong lull in new cases. (Harbarger, 2/19)
A rash of recent measles outbreaks in New York, Texas and Washington state shines a light on California’s largely successful effort in recent years to suppress the disease — though some of the shine might be fading. A serious measles outbreak that started at Disneyland in December 2014 and carried over into 2015 contributed to a steep increase in vaccination rates among California kindergartners over the following three years. But the gains stopped last year, according to the most recent available data. (Rowan, 2/19)
A California lawmaker and vaccine-advocate has written a letter to the U.S. surgeon general, Vice Adm. Jerome Adams, urging him to make vaccination a public health priority. Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who also is a pediatrician, has been a champion of vaccination laws, including the 2015 California law mandating that parents vaccinate their school-age children. (Sheeler, 2/19)
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