Quebec's measles vaccination rates improving, but not flawless

Kenny Tucker
February 22, 2019

"Someone who has travelled and they have the symptoms of measles: cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, fever and then a rash that starts on the head and works down, those are the typical symptoms of measles".

Complications of measles can include: ear infections (1 in 10 cases); diarrhea (8 in 100 cases); pneumonia (1 in 10 cases); hospital stay (1 to 2 in 10 cases) and encephalitis (1 in every 1,000 cases) that can lead to seizures, deafness or permanent brain damage.

Nine cases of measles have been confirmed in Vancouver.

Since that time, multiple large and high-quality studies have been conducted that demonstrate there is not an association between autism and MMR vaccine.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said measles is a "serious and highly contagious disease" and that getting inoculated is the best way to avoid getting sick - and transmitting it to others who may be unprotected. Moreover, a person with measles "will infect 90 percent of the folks who are susceptible around them".

The provincial government is also considering using the school system as a way to get people vaccinated.

Unvaccinated children aged 5 and below are at highest risk of the disease, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo earlier said. In 2015, an outbreak in the Lanaudière region affected 163 people.

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.

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It's suggested that infants receive their first MMR vaccine about their first birthday, with a booster shot in kindergarten.

If you think you have contracted measles, be sure to alert your doctor before you go for a checkup, so they can quickly get to you.

A case of measles hasn't been reported in the Interior since 2011, when there were seven cases. There is a number of individuals who are not open to the messages that we have to say because they're very set in their ways.

As of 2016, only 89 percent of children received the MMR1 vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella - the lowest rate since 2012.

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but scattered outbreaks have occurred in recent years.

"However, the vast majority of parents are vaccinating because they want to protect their children and protect their community".

That's especially advisable for anyone planning to travel during the upcoming March break to countries where the disease is poorly controlled, she said.

The also experiencing travel-related outbreaks, with 127 cases of measles confirmed in 10 states between January 1 and February 14, with Washington and NY states particularly hard hit by the disease, says a report by the Centers for Disease Control.

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