Medicine

Measles infections in Europe hit decade high in 2018

Measles infections in Europe hit decade high in 2018

The department did not release any information about the person who contracted measles, citing patient confidentiality.

Measles cases are surfacing across the country as an outbreak tied to the highly contagious viral infection continues to spread.

Measles infection typically causes a rash, fever, conjunctivitis (red eyes), cough or runny nose. That is almost a 500 percent jump in orders from January a year ago, when the total was just 530.

Demand for measles vaccines leapt 500 percent last month in Clark County, Washington-a hotbed for anti-vaccine sentiment that has now become the epicenter of a ferocious measles outbreak.

Complications can include otitis media, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures and death.

The measles outbreak reported in the northwest has made its way to Texas.

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Two adults died from measles in 2017 in the UK. Three times as many people have gotten vaccinated in January - from 200 per day in 2018 to 600 per day in 2019.

The WHO says the 2018 surge in measles cases followed a year when European countries achieved their highest ever estimated coverage for the second dose of the measles vaccination - 90%. Concern over the vaccine can be traced back to a 1998 paper by former doctor Andrew Wakefield, who falsely linked the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism.

Canada has been free of endemic measles since 1998, meaning the virus isn't constantly present. If people aren't vaccinated, the virus can spread easily. This is why measles outbreaks are occurring in Ireland and across Europe. The outbreak in Clark County has been concentrated mostly among unvaccinated children.

Clark County Public Health Department Public Information Officer Marissa Armstrong said that the first case in the Clark County outbreak was a child who had traveled to Clark County from outside the country - information that was announced in the initial outbreak news release January 4.

"I think "patchwork" is a good word to use to describe it", said Vinita Dubey, associate medical officer of health with Toronto Public Health. There have been calls in recent years for Canada to start a national registry to help officials keep better track of vaccination rates.

Dr. Robinson wrote a statement past year for the Canadian Paediatric Society on problems with vaccination rates in Canada. As soon as vaccination rates fall, old diseases re-emerge.