Record measles cases in Europe as areas refuse vaccine

One case of measles confirmed in Bell County

Denton County measles case is first in Dallas-Fort Worth, seventh in Texas

"The virus can stay in a room for two hours after someone with the disease has been in there".

Clark County also listed 11 suspected cases of measles.

One case of measles has been confirmed in Denton County raising the statewide total to seven, according to health officials. Among the confirmed cases, 43 were not immunized against the highly contagious disease.

Fever is followed by the onset of cough, runny nose, and/or eye inflammation. That is almost a 500 percent jump in orders from January past year, when the total was just 530. In Clark County, which has so far seen 49 measles cases in children mainly under 10, only 78 per cent of young people from kindergarten through high school have been vaccinated.

There were 72 deaths from measles in Europe in 2018 compared with 42 in 2017. In Madagascar, officials say more than 50,000 people have been infected with measles in recent months and more than 300 people, mostly children, have died as a result. Three times as many people have gotten vaccinated in January - from 200 per day in 2018 to 600 per day in 2019.

Similar outbreaks have been occurring in Europe: In 2017, there were 25,863 cases of measles; past year, that surged to more than 82,000.

While families in Madagascar have difficulty accessing the measles vaccine, outbreaks in Europe and the US are often linked to vaccine hesitancy - the reluctance of parents to vaccinate their children because of unfounded fears about the treatment. "I would rather it not take an outbreak for this to happen", Alan Melnick, the Clark County health officer overseeing the response, told KHN. People who have never received a measles vaccine are susceptible to the disease, which can be deadly.

Clark County Public Health Department Public Information Officer Marissa Armstrong said that the first case in the Clark County outbreak was a child who had traveled to Clark County from outside the country - information that was announced in the initial outbreak news release January 4.

The orders represent only state-supplied vaccines requested through the federal Vaccines for Children program, which provides free immunizations to children who otherwise couldn't afford them.

In 34 of the countries, estimated coverage with a second dose of measles vaccine was below 95 per cent.

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