Measles Cases Up in U.S., Oregon, Which Has Highest Vaccine Exemption Rate

Source: Oregonian (OR)

By: Terry, Lynne


Oregon, which has the highest rate of non-immunized children in the country, is seeing a rise in measles cases. Five cases have been confirmed in Oregon already this year, compared with six in all of 2013. Across the country, U.S. health officials have seen 288 cases reported through May 23, more than in any year since measles was declared eliminated in 2000. Most of the cases can be traced to importations by travelers to or from foreign countries. One Oregon patient was an unvaccinated infant, aged six months to one year, who lived in Multnomah County but had traveled to Asia. Measles immunization is not recommended until age one, but children traveling overseas should be vaccinated when they are at least six months old, says Dr. Paul Cieslak, head of the infectious disease program at the Oregon Public Health Division. In Oregon, 6.4 percent of kindergartners are exempted from measles vaccines for philosophical, religious, or personal reasons.

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