Parents in 18 states can opt out of vaccinations for their children based on to their personal beliefs, making those areas vulnerable to disease outbreaks. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports only medical exemptions. News on measles comes out of Washington, Oregon, Vancouver, and Georgia, as well.
Two states experiencing a measles outbreak, Washington and Oregon, allow parents to opt out of vaccines simply because they want to. And while they hate to say “I told you so,” pediatricians, well, told them so. “I’ve been saying now for the last couple of years [that] it’s only a matter of time before we see a horrific measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. (Cohen and Bonifield, 1/29)
The Vancouver-area measles outbreak grew again Tuesday with one more confirmed case. The number of people with suspected cases continues to be high. On Tuesday, it was 12 — an indication that the rate of spread is still high. The suspected cases number is determined by how many people have symptoms that match measles but their blood has not yet been tested, the bar that local and state government officials use to measure the spread of the disease. (Harbarger, 1/29)
Last week, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a public health emergency after confirming more than two dozen cases of measles. By Tuesday, the number rose to 37 — most of them affecting children. …Here’s a look into how this epidemic started, why children may face the worst of it, and how it is no surprise that the outbreak hit this part of the country. (Leventhal, 1/29)
Georgia health officials on Tuesday confirmed three cases of measles, all within the same metro Atlanta family. No additional information was released about the family, including the ages of those affected, which county they lived in or where they could have contracted the disease. (Poole, 1/29)
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