Published: Sat, February 23, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

DOH sees possible reversal of measles outbreak by April

DOH sees possible reversal of measles outbreak by April

The cost of Washington's measles outbreak has surpassed $1 million as more than 200 health-department staffers from the state and Clark County focus their efforts on the disease.

The Vancouver cases are linked to an unvaccinated child who contracted the disease during a family trip to Vietnam, and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry expects there will be more.

If you were born before January 1, 1970, the health authority says you are likely immune since Measles was in wide circulation in Canada back then.

Measles can lead to such complications as ear infections, blindness, pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

According to Dr. Lindquist, contacting and testing sick people - mostly children - and trying to figure out who else they might have exposed, has been a trying and expensive process. It can also be fatal.

"There's always a risk of measles importation into Canada", Tam said from Ottawa.

Axios noted that some states, like Washington, are considering tightening up vaccination laws.

The Public Health Agency says getting two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is nearly 100 per cent effective in preventing the disease.

Dix said Ontario's system makes it more hard for those eligible for vaccination to miss getting their shots - and he wants to see B.C. with a similar model. The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires parents or guardians to provide proof of vaccination before their child can attend school.

Stefania has done a series of media interviews asking the BC NDP government to make vaccinations mandatory - at least for school-aged children.

A report by the BC Centre for Disease Control entitled "Immunization Uptake in Children by the Seventh Birthday" records the percentage of 7-year-old children in each health authority/region of the province that has received various vaccines.

Nearly all states permit kids to go to school if their parents opt out of vaccines, the news network said.

"I think policy makers can move forward knowing for the most part there is some consensus on this issue".

"The court of public opinion suggests there's a strong desire not to see people merely opting out or thinking, 'Well I just don't think I'm going to get this done for my kid, ' in the same way you're going to make other choices about putting them into ballet lessons or soccer practice, " said Angus Reid spokesperson Shachi Kurl.

But Fleming says schools haven't been able to put in registrations now in part because they can't ensure fairness across the province.

- With files from Dirk Meissner in Victoria.

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