Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

OH teen defies mother, gets vaccinated for first time at 18

OH teen defies mother, gets vaccinated for first time at 18

As the worst measles outbreak in NY state in decades rages on, health officials have launched an "aggressive, multi-pronged" attack against the disease that has sickened more than 200 people in five months. Officials also had confirmed one case in King County, Washington, which includes Seattle, and four cases in Multnomah County, Oregon, which includes Portland.

OH is one of 17 states that allow parents to opt out of required vaccines for philosophical reasons, and all but three states allow exemption because of religious beliefs, which more parents are taking advantage of. Despite measles being officially declared "eliminated in the United States" in 2000, the number of measles cases have been increasing ever since, with 79 cases already in 2019, a lot of them in Washington state.

Experts say that, as diseases have become less common, people don't remember a time from before vaccines were commonplace. That death brought up discussions about whether to do away with the "philosophical or personal beliefs" exemption to vaccinating a child before they're allowed to enter a public school, which inevitably led to a flame war between Jim Carrey and half of Twitter. Other outbreaks in NY a year ago affected areas that included Orange County, but no new cases have been reported in 2019.

In Rockland County, a suburb of New York City west of the Hudson, some 130 cases were diagnosed between September 2018 and February 6.

In 2018, 26 states and the District of Columbia reported 372 confirmed cases of measles, a preliminary tally but the second-highest since the disease was declared eliminated in the 2000.

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Measles is highly infectious and spreads through air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the Vancouver Coastal Health. Outbreaks have occured as travelers returning home from countries, including Israel-which is experiencing its own measles outbreak-bring the disease to the US and encounter unimmunized communities and individuals.

In 2015, at least 95 cases of measles were reported nationwide by the end of January.

The post garnered over 1,000 comments, including from people who identified as health care professionals and provided information on how to pursue immunizations without parental permission.

In Clark County, the majority of patients have been unvaccinated children under 10 years old.

"As the child of anti-vaxxer parents, what vaccines should I get now as an adult?" one user wrote.

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But if vaccination rates remain low overall, "you still have a group of people who can fuel the fire of ongoing transmission", Marrazzo says.

To rebuild and protect the herd immunity in NY, lawmakers are looking to see non-medical exemptions on the grounds of religious beliefs scrapped.

"The challenge we face is that most people haven't seen this, the effects of an outbreak", Washington Secretary of Health John Wiesman told reporters last week, according to The Washington Post.

"So I went to the public health department in my local town and spoke to some of the people there", he told Fox and Friends, "and they were very kind and they gave me information".

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