Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Cook County at high risk for measles outbreak in 2019, report says

4 Florida counties including Orange could be at high risk of measles outbreak analysis shows Having immunity to measles is crucial because the illness can lead to serious medical complications
Samantha Long | 13 May, 2019, 21:43

Like every single live-action Disney movie out this year, measles is making the comeback no one asked for.

Things could still get much worse, though. Travelers are coming to the USA from measles-stricken countries. While the virus more commonly occurs in low and middle income countries, recent outbreaks in the US, Europe and Israel indicate a deeply concerning resurgence in the developed world.

As of late April, the US has seen more than 700 cases of measles this year, the highest number in decades.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person.

The report, published Thursday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, said that although Cook County has only reported one case of measles in 2019, the disease could become an issue here because of the presence of Chicago's two major global airports.

"We actually started working on this in February. So this whole time, we've basically been seeing the outbreak evolve as the patterns we predicted are happening", study co-author Lauren Gardner, an associate professor of civil engineering at Johns Hopkins, told Gizmodo by phone.

A new study ranks the U.S. counties at highest risk of a measles outbreak, with the areas surrounding Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami topping the list. "And that is why in Washington state, we are against measles".

Adults born after 1966 are of particular concern as they may have had only one vaccine dose.

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They said their risk analysis correctly predicted reported measles outbreaks in Washington, Oregon and NY. The local outbreak was officially declared over on April 29, after no new cases were seen after a six-week period. In the USA, widespread use of the vaccine has led to a 99 per cent reduction in measles cases compared with before the vaccination programme began.

HB 1638 has proved polarizing in Clark County, where only 78 percent of Clark County 6- to 18-year-olds have received the recommended two doses of MMR vaccine, according to the most current state data available.

Following Cook and Los Angeles counties on the list were Miami-Dade County in Florida, King County in Washington and Queens in NY, where John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports are located.

In Clark County, Washington, the site of the recent measles outbreak, 15 of the 54 locations where people were exposed to the viral illness were at schools, said Alan Melnick, the county's public health director.

A newly released study listed four Florida counties among the most vulnerable for a measles outbreak. "We believe in science and we love our children", Inslee said alongside Clark County lawmakers and public officials before signing the bill into law.

"I hope this new law will bring to the forefront again the importance of being vaccinated", Harris said.

With measles outbreaks throughout the state - including Butte County, Los Angeles County and Sacramento County - the California Department of Public Health has asked all counties (both with and without measles cases) to track costs and activities related to the virus and prevention.

At least 112,000 people have been diagnosed with measles outside the United States, according to the World Health Organization.

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