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Measles outbreaks are the fault of anti-vaxxers, says World Health Organization

11 February 2019

In Canada, a Vancouver man was diagnosed this past Thursday with the virus but is said to have passed the period during which it is considered infectious. In the National Capital Region alone, there were 575 cases with 9 deaths.

The outbreak of the disease in areas across the country was a result of many different factors, such as a the low immunization rate in the last 5 years, which was aggravated in 2018 by parents' fear of vaccines' side effects following the Dengvaxia controversy, he said.

Apart from this, of all the preventable diseases, measles is also the most easily transmissible because it's airborne, said Domingo.

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Clark County public health director Dr. Alan Melnick told NPR that while he did not want to "to point the finger at anybody", measles is highly contagious and potentially deadly, with one of the children already landing in the hospital. Most of these fatalities are those who are less a year old who don't have the resistance yet against the illness.

Separately, the federal government has issued travel health notices regarding measles outbreaks in Europe, Africa and South America.

If you are unsure of your family's immunization status, you can view, download and print your family's immunization information online at wa.MyIR.net or request a copy of your immunization record from the Washington State Department of Health.

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Children born after 1994 in B.C. got two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), but people born before that time or outside of B.C. may not have recieved both doses. A second dose of vaccine may also be given to complete the 2-dose schedule. Complications can include inflammation of the brain, convulsions, deafness, brain damage and death. The virus can survive for up to two hours in a room where an infected person sneezed. If somebody with measles is around a bunch of people who are unvaccinated, 90 per cent of them will become ill.

Measles symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

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Measles outbreaks are the fault of anti-vaxxers, says World Health Organization