Yakima County Health Officials Say So Far No Measles Cases

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"You have to go through a registration system", Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday.

With a median age of 2 years old, 61% of measles cases are under 5 years of age.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control tracks child immunization and reports that 82.1 per cent of children aged seven had been immunized for measles in 2018, compared to 88.4 per cent in 2017 and 90.2 per cent in 2016.

To prevent outbreaks and eliminate measles, the World Health Organization urges countries to sustain the regimen of high immunisation coverage with two doses of measles vaccine. The President has stated that he has already mobilized Federal officials to make sure that the measles vaccinations continue to flow into Washington state to ensure that there are no more shortages at any hospitals or clinics.

Island Health said no cases of measles have been reported on Vancouver Island.

"I'm not forcing anybody to get vaccinated if they don't want to vaccinate", she said in an interview.

"With the frightening resurgence of measles in Vancouver, it wasn't a choice anymore, is was a moral obligation to public safety", Bisset said of her decision to get immunized. "You could mandate certain rules about what is and isn't permissible when it comes to allowing people to have exemptions", he said.

According to the health authority, the overall measles immunization rate for children starting kindergarten in Vancouver for the 2017/2018 school year, the last year the records are available, was 82 per cent. Akins pointed out that this number is a minimum.

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Measles, caused by a virus that infects the respiratory tract, can be passed through direct contact and through the air.

The U.S.is also experiencing travel-related outbreaks, with 127 cases of measles confirmed in 10 states between January 1 and February 14, with Washington and NY states particularly hard hit by the disease, says a report by the Centers for Disease Control.

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. Symptoms usually develop 10 to 12 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and inflamed eyes.

While measles was declared officially eliminated in Canada in 1998, cases imported by travellers can cause sporadic outbreaks like the one now occurring in Vancouver, seeding the disease within the community and putting those without immunity at risk.

Hayden said the vaccination rates at both schools is quite high, hovering around 95 per cent.

California removed personal belief vaccine exemptions for children in both public and private schools in 2015 after a measles outbreak at Disneyland sickened 147 people and spread across the US and into Canada.

"It is clear that these outbreaks happen routinely now in areas where there were a lower proportion of children that have received the recommended vaccinations", he said.