US Health Officials Seek To Stem Measles Outbreaks Traced To Israel, Ukraine
Washington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Apr, 2019 ) :The origins of the measles outbreak in the United States are not a mystery.
The challenge for US health authorities is stopping the outbreak from spreading further.
Last year, the disease spread through Brooklyn schools and synagogues among children who had never been vaccinated or had not had the recommended followup shot between the ages of four and six years old.
"And that's how it started out.
"What we know about this cluster is they all match each other," Lindquist said. "We did DNA fingerprinting, or genetic sequencing, essentially.
"We certainly are concerned that it will be the largest number of cases since elimination in 2000," Messonnier said Tens of thousands of cases of measles have been reported in Africa and Europe. Ukraine alone has more than 30,000 cases and 11 deaths since January.
In the United States, the outbreaks have mostly been confined to tight-knit communities where vaccination rates are lower than the national average of more than 90 percent.
There have been outbreaks previously, for example, among the Amish community in Ohio in 2014 and Somali immigrants in Minnesota in 2017.
Health authorities have moved aggressively to prevent the disease from spreading.
In Clark County, 849 non-vaccinated students were barred from 15 schools where children had come down with measles.
"We were very aggressive about isolating any cases, quarantining anybody who was exposed to those cases, and excluding kids from school if they were unimmunized," said Lindquist, the Washington state health official.
"And that is what's slowed this outbreak down," he said. "Currently, we have not had a case in almost 42 days." In New York, the mayor has ordered the vaccination of all residents of Williamsburg, a Brooklyn neighborhood, and threatened to impose fines of $1,000 for those who don't follow the order.
Rockland County, meanwhile, announced new measures to combat the disease, including fines of up to $2,000 a day.
"It is unacceptable to sit back and do nothing as more of our residents fall ill," county executive Ed Day said.
Anyone with measles or exposed to someone with measles was banned from public places.
Schools were ordered to keep out children who could not show proof of immunization or a valid medical or religious exemption.