B.C. looking into vaccination registry due to measles outbreak: health minister

Measles outbreak in Philippines could bring disease to Guam

The head of the US Food and Drug Administration says that if states don't require more schoolchildren to get vaccinated, the federal government might have to step in.

The virus is spread through air-borne droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from January 1 to the present, a total of 127 individual cases of measles have been confirmed across 10 states.

Symptoms of the measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash, and according to HealthLink BC, it can lead to encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that may cause seizures, hearing loss and brain damage.

Dr. Jia Hu, Alberta Health Services' medical officer of health in Calgary, says it may be worth considering a mandatory vaccine. The World Health Organization says there were 110,000 deaths from measles globally in 2017, a lot of them children under age five.

Interior Health says it has yet to see any cases of the measles, days after Vancouver Coastal Health declared an outbreak at two urban schools. The person had received only one of the two recommended doses of measles vaccine as a child and worked at a high school in Drummondville.

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The recent outbreak prompted a Lower Mainland mom to resurrect her online petition calling on the B.C. government to make vaccinations mandatory for public school enrollment, with exceptions for those who can not receive vaccinations for medical reasons.

"For travelers we are recommending that prior to traveling that they're vaccinated for the flu and there is a combination of not only the measles vaccination but also with mumps and rubella", said Denorcey.

Through herd immunity, even people who can not get vaccinated will have some protection from getting sick. Most people born before 1978 have had measles infection and will not get measles again.

Vancouver doctors are seeing an uptick in the number of unvaccinated teens and young adults seeking to be inoculated against measles in the wake of an outbreak of the disease at two schools in the city. Health experts are stating that it is possible to confine the virus from spreading, however, in order to do so hospitals and health clinics will need to encourage every patient they see to get immediately vaccinated. "Parents are endangering their children and others by choosing not to vaccinate".

Katie Clunn of Maple Ridge, B.C., who started the online petition, said vaccination is not only about protecting one's own children, but "others as well".

If "certain states continue down the path that they're on, I think they're going to force the hand of the federal health agencies", he added.

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