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Measles outbreaks prompt state lawmakers to reconsider religion exemptions for vaccines

Measles outbreaks prompt state lawmakers to reconsider religion exemptions for vaccines

"That's why we have different laws in every state: so the citizens of that state can decide how they want to run things", he added.

But Dix is saying no.

"I think if we took the step of having mandatory reporting we would be in a better position to more effectively manage situations like this without putting that burden on children", Hayden said.

If you have been paying attention to health news in the first part of 2019, then you are probably aware of the recent uptick in measles cases across the Pacific Northwest portion of the United States, particularly the state of Washington. The other case is unrelated.

Complications from the virus include pneumonia, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), seizures, deafness, brain damage and death. The disease can also be fatal.

"The court of public opinion suggests there's a strong desire not to see people merely opting out or thinking, 'Well I just don't think I'm going to get this done for my kid, ' in the same way you're going to make other choices about putting them into ballet lessons or soccer practice, " said Angus Reid spokesperson Shachi Kurl.

Measles is spread through airborne droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes. The MMR vaccine - which protects against measles, mumps and rubella - defends the body by making antibodies against the virus.




However, some people - infants, those with certain underlying health conditions and patients undergoing chemotherapy - can not be vaccinated and must rely on high vaccination levels within their community in order to be protected from infection by so-called "herd immunity". Most people born before 1978 have had measles infection and will not get measles again.

Provinces such as Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick already require that children be vaccinated to attend public schools.

Almost all states allow children to attend school even if their parents opt out of vaccines.

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.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control tracks child immunization and reports that 82.1 per cent of children aged seven had been immunized for measles in 2018, compared to 88.4 per cent in 2017 and 90.2 per cent in 2016.

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".

In response to a high volume of calls from people inquiring about their vaccination status, Island Health has opened up a measles information line for the South Island at 250-544-7676 ext.

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