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Washington vaccination rate spikes as measles outbreak continues

08 February 2019

Europe had a record number of measles cases past year, in part due to a growing number of pockets where parents are refusing to vaccinate their children, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

- One case of measles has been confirmed in Bell County. Specimens for this suspect case are being sent to a specialized laboratory out of state to confirm measles, but it can take more than a week to get the results.

Washington state Rep. Paul Harris (R-Vancouver) has introduced a measurethat would remove personal belief exemptions for the MMR vaccine.

"I think we need to strengthen our legislation", she told reporters.

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Someone in Denton County has come down with the measles.

In nearly every instance, the infected person had not received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

At the same time, the World Health Organization said, record numbers of children are getting the vaccine - offering hope that the rise in infections may not last. One individual reported receiving 1 dose of the MMR vaccine.

Although there have been no cases reported at the University of Portland, Kaylin Soldat, family nurse practitioner at the Health and Counseling Center, wants students and parents to know how crucial vaccinations are. Between January 13 and February 2, 2,739 children and 1,754 adults were vaccinated compared to 630 children and 60 adults over the same period a year ago. Last year, 372 measles cases were confirmed nationwide, the most since an outbreak in 2014 sickened 667 people.

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In Australia, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson made unsubstantiated claims cautioning vaccination on the ABC's Insiders program in 2017, prompting a chorus of condemnation from health practitioners and politicians.

MMR vaccine rates in two areas in the Pacific Northwest, which has been at the epicenter of a measles outbreak, are surging as people rush to protect themselves and their children from the virus.

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The measles vaccine, which is cheap and 97% effective at preventing the disease, has never been shown to be linked to any autism or any of a number of other conditions or disorders that the "anti-vaxxer" community has attempted to pin on it.

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Although we are left to speculate about the next location of a measles outbreak, it's clear that if vaccination coverage does not increase, it will only be a matter of time until we find out.

Washington vaccination rate spikes as measles outbreak continues