Measles Cases Mount In Pacific Northwest Outbreak

A vial of the measles vaccine is displayed at the Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park office Monday morni

Lawmakers heard arguments on a proposed bill that would ban the measles vaccine exemption for philosophical reasons.

This bill simply put it is about safe schools and protecting vulnerable children we are now in the midst of a totally preventable musicals outbreak which illustrates the importance and timeliness of this bill over the last ten years Washington has had three large measles outbreaks and one of which included the death of an immunocompromised person exposed to measles in a clinic waiting room.

California removed personal belief vaccine exemptions for children in both public and private schools in 2015, after a measles outbreak at Disneyland sickened 147 people and spread across the US and into Canada. Health officials also say lower vaccination rates decrease so-called herd immunity, which can endanger children who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Proponents of eliminating the personal exemption argue that schools must be safe and protect vulnerable children.

Those with the disease are contagious for four days before a rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears, according to Public Health.

There is a 90 percent chance that an unvaccinated person who comes close to someone who has measles will catch the virus. It can lead to serious complications including pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death.

People on both sides of the debate were allowed to speak at a hearing on Friday, Feb. 8.

Hundreds of conspiracy theorists in Washington state gathered Friday to protest against vaccinating kids.

"I don't feel I'm putting my child at risk".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one dose of measles vaccine is 93 percent effective at preventing the illness. "There's nothing that's going to change my mind on this on that specific vaccination", said mother Monique Murray. Washington lawmakers hope to get the measure passed by April.

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