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  #551  
Old 05-28-2019, 12:09 PM
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NEW YORK
MEASLES

https://www.wsj.com/articles/ready-f...ny-11558785601
Quote:
Ready for Summer Camp? Measles Shots Now Required for Many
There have been 840 confirmed cases of measles across New York since last fall

Spoiler:
Sunscreen? Check.

Swimming goggles? Check.

This summer, the most important part of the camp checklist for many New Yorkers is proof of measles immunization. Parents have been warned that their children could be turned away if they don't have it.

Facing pressure from public-health authorities amid the worst measles outbreak in more than two decades, summer-camp directors across the state are tightening vaccination requirements, and some are refusing unvaccinated children.

The New York State Department of Health code requires multipurpose camps -- about 2,000 across the state -- to maintain immunization records for all campers, which are then regularly reviewed by local health departments.

However, vaccines aren't a state requirement for camp admittance. That means individual camps must decide what, if any, vaccines they require and if they will accept children whose parents object to vaccination based on religious beliefs. Policies are similar for workers.

Susie Lupert, executive director of the trade group American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey, said directors of the regulated camps she represents are feeling more pressure than ever from health departments that are strenuously encouraging that all campers be vaccinated, or at least have the required two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

"It's intense," she said. "We're finding that some camps are blatantly saying to families, 'Do not come to our camp unless you have immunizations.'"

At Camp Kinder Ring, an overnight camp in Hopewell Junction, N.Y., camp director Marc Rauch said that not only is vaccination mandatory for campers and workers, but for groups, vendors and contractors who may enter the campgrounds.

In the past, he said, the camp allowed select vaccination exemptions.

Those same handful of unvaccinated campers, he said, are now vaccinated or have shown that they have immunity to measles and are able to attend. He said parents of campers have been understanding and focused on the safety of their children.

Many single-purpose day camps, where children do only one activity a day, aren't regulated by the state and operate under local regulations that may be loose or nonexistent. There are thousands of single-purpose camps across the state, which are typically run out of a church basement, school or led by a local sports coach.

Measles is a highly contagious virus. Roughly 90% of people who aren't immune and exposed to the disease are likely to become infected.

There have been 840 confirmed cases of measles across New York since last fall, health departments have reported. The vast majority of cases are among unvaccinated children, and the cases have been largely clustered in ultra-Orthodox communities in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and in Rockland County.

In Rockland County, concern is growing about the coming camp season. The county Health Department "is working with the county's Department of Law to develop strategies to best address this issue," said county spokesman John Lyon.

Sam Borek, owner of Woodmont Day Camp in New City, N.Y., said he decided to follow the advice of the Rockland County Health Department and the camp physician, and exclude campers who hadn't received the recommended dosage of the MMR vaccine before camp. In the past, he said, the camp may have accepted religious exemptions to vaccines.

Mr. Borek said he had personal conversations with the families that previously had exemptions, and they then had their child receive the recommended dosages orreceive the titer test to ensure that their camper was immune.

"Our No. 1 priority," he said, "is the safety of our campers and staff."

In Westchester County, where there are a number of day camps drawing children from New York City, camp directors say the county is requiring separate spreadsheets of campers who are unvaccinated or undervaccinated. The latter would pertain to a 3-year-old camper who hasn't received a second dose of the MMR vaccine. The data are intended to help the Health Department in the event of an outbreak.

Sherlita Amler, commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Health, said in a recent interview that the county has hosted workshops for camp providers, with measles as a major topic. If a camp were to have a case of measles, she said, anyone who isn't vaccinated or under-vaccinated "would have to be excluded for 21 days."

The damage to reputation and business interruption in the event of a measles outbreak were among the reasons why Camp Alvernia in Centerport, N.Y., on Long Island, decided to require vaccinations of its 900 campers.

Camp director Ben Esposito said that the health of campers -- especially 3-year-olds -- was of high concern to him and the camp's medical staff. He said the change in policy requiring vaccination meant that a few families politely asked for refunds, which were given.

"No camp wants to exclude any child or staff person," said Mr. Esposito. The camp's new policy, he said, "is not meant to be exclusionary, it's meant as a protection."


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  #552  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:07 PM
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  #553  
Old 05-31-2019, 09:53 AM
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MEASLES
UNITED STATES
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-mea...rd-11559242458

Quote:
U.S. Measles Outbreaks Hit Highest Level in More Than 25 Years
CDC says 971 cases have been reported so far in 2019

Spoiler:
The number of measles cases in the U.S. this year has hit its highest level in more than 25 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, warning that a major public-health milestone -- the elimination of measles in the U.S. -- may be sacrificed if two large outbreaks aren't curbed by the fall.

The CDC said 971 cases have been reported so far in 2019, including 91 cases in the past week and a half. The tally means that in just five months, the outbreaks have surpassed the 963 cases reported in all of 1994, the 25-year high.

This year is now the worst for measles since 1992, when 2,126 cases were reported. Public-health authorities had declared in 2000 that measles in the U.S. had been eliminated.

Most of the cases this year are connected to two outbreaks, in New York City and Rockland County, N.Y. The virus has been spreading there mostly among unvaccinated children in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities. The two outbreaks are the largest and longest-running since measles was eliminated in the U.S.


NEW YORK CITY

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-yor...er-11559245514
Quote:
New York City Has Issued 123 Summonses to People Defying Measles Vaccine Order
Around 30 schools received violations for noncompliance of health-department policies

Spoiler:
Amid the worst measles outbreak in more than two decades, New York City health officials have issued 123 civil summonses to people found to be noncompliant with an April emergency order requiring unvaccinated people in parts of Brooklyn to get the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

Yet the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene hasn't collected fines on any of the summonses.

A spokeswoman for the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, which is responsible for handling cases brought by city agencies, said health officials have submitted only a handful of the 123 summonses for adjudication since mid-April.

Those who receive a summons are allowed multiple opportunities to attend a hearing to dispute it. If the summons is upheld at a hearing, the penalty is $1,000. Not appearing at a hearing or ignoring a summons results in a $2,000 fine.

Only two hearings have been held so far. Both took place Thursday morning, and the respondents didn't appear, said the spokeswoman for OATH.

A spokesman for the city's health department said it takes several weeks to process summonses and file them to OATH.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that when the city issues a violation for noncompliance with the mandatory vaccination order the objective isn't to penalize the offender but simply "to fix the problem."

"If someone goes and gets vaccinated, they may not end up paying that fine," Mr. de Blasio said. "Some people have paid the fine, but the real goal is to address this crisis and turn it around."

When the emergency order was announced in April, Mr. de Blasio said the fine "gets people's attention, so I think this is going to have a very big impact."

New York City Councilman Mark Levine, chairman of the council's committee on health, said the point of the order was to incentivize people to vaccinate children. As a result, he said, thousands more people have received the MMR vaccine.

However, said Mr. Levine, "it is protocol that this enforcement have teeth and that people understand how serious this is. Those that are refusing to vaccinate their kids are not only putting their own children at risk but other people's children at risk."

On Wednesday, the health department said 550 people have been diagnosed with measles since October 2018, up from the case count of 535 on May 24.

The number of measles cases in the U.S. this year has set a record, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

The majority of confirmed cases remain in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and clustered in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community there.

It was in this community where health officials hoped to stem the outbreak with the use of a mandatory vaccine order. Adults and children ages 6 months and older who live, work or attend school in four Williamsburg ZIP Codes were required by the order to get a MMR vaccine. Those who didn't comply with the order -- or prove immunity to measles -- could get a summons.

The rate of vaccination has gone up in Williamsburg and Borough Park, another Brooklyn neighborhood where there has been ongoing measles transmission, including three new cases since May 24, according to the health department.

Between October 1, 2018, and May 23, 2019, more than 25,000 doses of the MMR vaccine have been given to children 18 years and younger in those two neighborhoods, nearly double the doses given during the same period a year before, according to the health department.


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  #554  
Old 06-06-2019, 07:47 PM
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I have a friend who tracks measles vaccinations for the public health service. She says that the percentage of folks vaccinated has stabilized. They're pushing for better.
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  #555  
Old 06-10-2019, 09:02 AM
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CALIFORNIA
VACCINATIONS

https://www.wired.com/story/californ...Vcw1SOtIfHuUGQ

Quote:
CALIFORNIA’S VACCINATION RATE SLIPS AS MEDICAL EXEMPTIONS RISE

Spoiler:
IN THE PAST few years California has gained ground in its fight to protect children from infectious diseases. But new data released this week shows that the state’s vaccination rate declined for the second year in a row.

Last fall 94.8 percent of California kindergartners had received all their shots, down from 95.6 in 2016-2017. That drop may look small, but California has about as many kindergartners as Wyoming has people. The most recent figures show that California now falls below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended vaccination rate of 95 percent, considered necessary to protect a community from disease outbreaks through herd immunity. Those numbers also obscure big differences in vaccination rates from one zip code to another, from as low as 19 percent in one community in northern Los Angeles County to as high as 99 percent in Watsonville, a farm town in Santa Cruz County.

Four years ago, following a measles outbreak in Southern California that began at Disneyland, California passed Senate Bill 277, a law that eliminated parents’ ability to opt out of mandated vaccinations for their kids based on personal beliefs. At first, the law seemed to be working. When it was passed, 2.4 percent of kindergartners in California weren’t vaccinated because of a personal belief exemption; today, that figure is zero.

But children can also skip vaccinations if they receive a permanent or temporary medical exemption from a doctor; these are typically given to children who have health conditions, like immune system disorders, that contra-indicate vaccination. Five years ago, just 0.2 percent of California students received a permanent medical exemption, while 2.5 percent claimed a personal belief exemption, or PBE. Since the PBE’s elimination, permanent medical exemption (PME) rates have begun to climb, from 0.7 percent to 0.9 percent for the past year.

California Department of Public Health data suggests that communities in which PBEs were popular in the past may now be obtaining PMEs. As Barbara Feder Ostrov reported in Kaiser Health News earlier this spring, many schools that previously claimed the highest PBE rates now have high PME rates.

New data released this week backs up this analysis. The California schools with the highest exemption rates today—we’re talking rates of 40, 50, even 64 percent of a group of a few dozen kindergartners—had PME rates of zero five years ago. So five years ago, kindergarten classes at these schools had no children whose health was compromised to the degree that they could not medically handle immunizations. At the time, those same schools claimed very high PBE rates—ranging from 35 percent to 87 percent. About half of the schools with the highest PME rates are Waldorf schools. (Waldorf schools follow an educational model developed by Rudolf Steiner and Emil Molt that emphasizes bringing out each child’s individual potential in a way that serves humanity.)

Take Yuba River Charter, a Waldorf-affiliated school in Grass Valley, California. (Grass Valley is northeast of Sacramento, in a county where 10.6 percent of kids have a PME and only 80.3 percent are fully vaccinated.) In 2013, more than two-thirds of Yuba River Charter’s kindergartners claimed personal belief exemptions. Today, that figure is zero. But just 36 percent of students at the school are vaccinated, with the remainder claiming a permanent medical exemption. (Administrators did not respond to a request for comment.)

Private schools have lower immunization rates than public ones: This year 95 percent of children entering public kindergarten had all their shots and 0.7 percent had medical exemptions, while 92.9 percent of private school kindergartners were fully vaccinated and 2.4 percent claimed permanent medical exemptions.

The permanent medical exemption rates don’t tell the whole story, says Leah Russin, executive director of Vaccinate California, a parent group that advocates for vaccination. (WIRED contributor Renee DiResta is a cofounder of Vaccinate California.) Russin explained that the state also reports on the percent of students who enter schools conditionally—meaning they aren’t fully vaccinated but plan to be in the future. Those numbers include students who have received a Temporary Medical Exemption from their physician. “Kids might not receive a permanent exemption because a temporary exemption is all that’s being offered by the doctor they’re working with,” Russin says. “There’s one doctor who will give a 90-day temporary exemption if you call, and then you have to follow up and get one for a longer term.” (Earlier this year Voice of San Diego identified a single physician behind one-third of medical exemptions written for students in the San Diego Unified School District.)

Through a public records request, Russin received data from the California Department of Public Health that breaks out the share of students who received temporary medical exemptions. In the 2018-2019 school year, dozens of schools had TME rates of 10 percent or higher, while their PME rates are low. At Highland Hall Waldorf school, in the Northridge area of Los Angeles, 34 percent of students have a temporary medical exemption, while only 4 percent have a permanent exemption. Thirty miles east in Altadena, it’s a similar story at another Waldorf school. “All members of our association are independent and make decisions in accordance with our membership and accreditation criteria,” says Beverly Amico, executive director for advancement at the Association for Waldorf Schools of North America. “These criteria include the expectation that all schools be compliant with national, state, provincial, and local laws.”

The augmented California data, which Russin shared with WIRED, shows a statewide TME rate of 0.2 percent—that’s on top of the 0.9 percent of students receiving permanent medical exemptions, bringing the state’s total medical exemption rate to 1.1 percent.


CLICK HERE FOR A LARGER VIEW OF THIS MAP.
The rise in medical exemptions has not gone unnoticed. Last month the California Senate passed SB 276, a bill that would set statewide standards for medical exemptions. Authored by California senator Richard Pan, a pediatrician from Sacramento, the bill aims to reduce the rising rate of medical exemptions in the state and is supported by the California branch of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the California Medical Association. The bill now moves to the California State Assembly for consideration; there are questions about whether governor Gavin Newsom will sign the bill should it reach his desk.

The rise in medical exemption rates isn’t entirely a surprise, says Catherine Flores Martin, executive director at the California Immunization Coalition, a Sacramento-based nonprofit that supports immunization. “We knew that after SB 277 passed the medical exemptions would go up, because we thought that some PBEs might really be medical exemptions that weren’t formalized by the parent.” But the rates continue to rise. “Some physicians are writing these exemptions for things that do not fall under established guidelines, and that’s not safe for public health.” Senator Pan’s bill doesn’t mandate immunizations, Flores Martin says; parents who choose not to can, for example, opt to home-school their kids. “Nobody is forced to vaccinate their children.”

No one in California is forced to vaccinate children, but in the wake of a measles outbreak in Brooklyn, the New York City health department recently mandated that people who work or live in four zip codes get the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine or face a $1,000 fine. (Medical exemptions, however, are permitted.)

Last month a paper in The Lancet Infectious Diseases identified the 25 US counties most at risk of a measles outbreak. Three California counties, Los Angeles, San Mateo, and San Diego, made the researchers’ top 25 list. According to California Department of Public Health data, while 98 percent of San Mateo kindergartners and 96.4 percent of LA kids received the MMR, only 94.3 percent of San Diego kids were fully protected against measles, below the herd immunity level of 95 percent. This year 51 people have contracted measles in the state, with 10 cases in Los Angeles to date.


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  #556  
Old 06-10-2019, 06:58 PM
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California should be exiled completely.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:34 AM
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EBOLA

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/a...Congo-WHO.html

Quote:
Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo epidemic may be 33% HIGHER than official figures because people avoid treatment centres, expert claims
The WHO suggested the number of people infected could be more than 2,700
At least 1,346 people are recorded as having died during the 10-month outbreak
Around 10 per cent of people are turning down vaccines, risking their lives
And about a third of those who die had never been to a treatment centre
Spoiler:
The number of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo may be a third higher than figures show, experts have warned.

A World Health Organization director of health emergencies said aid workers may be missing up to a quarter of cases because people are refusing treatment.

This could mean the true number of patients is more than 2,700 – official records from Wednesday, 5 June, say 2,031 have been infected and 1,346 have died.

The outbreak has now been going on for around 10 months and is getting worse – week-by-week infection rates are far higher than at any time before March.

As of Wednesday this week, 1,367 people had died in the ongoing Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo but the World Health Organization warns up to a quarter of cases may be missing from the official toll +3
As of Wednesday this week, 1,367 people had died in the ongoing Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo but the World Health Organization warns up to a quarter of cases may be missing from the official toll


'We believe... we're probably detecting in excess of 75 per cent of cases,' said the WHO's Health Emergencies Programme executive director, Dr Mike Ryan.

'We may be missing up to a quarter of cases.'

The WHO warns around 10 per cent of people are refusing to get vaccinated against Ebola.

A new vaccine is being rolled out for the first time in this outbreak and is proving to be very effective, but many locals remain angry at or afraid of health workers.

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It is this unvaccinated population where most new Ebola cases are coming from, and the same people who are most at risk of spreading the deadly virus.

Dr Ryan added: 'If someone dies in the community it's a disaster.

RED CROSS APPEALS FOR FUNDING TO FIGHT EBOLA OUTBREAK
The British Red Cross this week called for more funding for the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and urged the public to donate money.

The latest outbreak began in North Kivu province in August last year and almost 1,400 people have died since.

The outbreak is the worst in the DRC's history and the second worst in world history.

Red Cross workers are already in the area trying to encourage people to seek and accept medical help, and have a database of rumours spreading among local people which they need to tackle.

David Foster, British Red Cross Global Response Manager said: 'Local Red Cross volunteers are at the forefront of the response, working with communities to help contain this outbreak.

'They have done incredible, brave work – but without funding, the response could stall, and the risk of further spread is a terrifying reality.'

The British Red Cross appeal will support the urgent containment of the disease, including safe and dignified burials, Ebola prevention and control, and work with communities.

'It's a disaster for the community but it's a disaster for the response because that person has been in the community potentially infecting others so we must get earlier detection of cases.'

More than 130,000 people have been vaccinated to date, Congolese figures show, and Dr Ryan said the epidemic is 'not out of control, but... certainly not under control'.

A third of confirmed Ebola deaths are being recorded in people who died without ever going to a treatment centre, the WHO said.

These are a huge risk for spreading the disease because they are likely to have stayed at home and been in close proximity with unprotected relatives and neighbours.

And the disease can still spread after death, a worrying fact for a culture which traditionally holds open casket funerals and buries its own dead.

In both of the past two weeks, 88 people have been infected in seven days – a slight drop from the 112 per week average in the first three weeks of May.

But in January and February this average was just 31.8 people per week.

Attacks from armed rebels – some believed to be linked to Islamic State – are slowing down the medical response and risking the lives of locals and aid workers.

A local government official and 13 civilians were killed in an attack on Monday, and health workers have threatened to pack up and leave if they're not better protected.

The World Health Organization's Dr Mike Ryan said the outbreak is 'not out of control but... certainly not under control'. Pictured, Health workers at an emergency unit in the city of Beni +3
The World Health Organization's Dr Mike Ryan said the outbreak is 'not out of control but... certainly not under control'. Pictured, Health workers at an emergency unit in the city of Beni

Around a third of people who have died in the Ebola outbreak never went to a treatment centre, according to the WHO +3
Around a third of people who have died in the Ebola outbreak never went to a treatment centre, according to the WHO

Last month, a global health expert at Public Health England told MailOnline the epidemic could blow up to proportions seen in the 2014 outbreak in West Africa, which killed more than 11,000 people, if security doesn't improve.

Dr Osman Dar said: 'We need to massively ramp up efforts to improve the safety of health workers.

'At the moment they're quite confident they have [the outbreak] contained, but the longer it goes on, the greater chance there is of it spreading to a major urban setting or across a border.'



https://thehill.com/policy/healthcar...years-who-says
Quote:
Ebola outbreak may last up to 2 years, WHO says

Spoiler:
An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in a turbulent region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo may last as long as two years in the absence of a stronger international response, senior global public health officials said this week.

But there are some limited signs of hope that the virus is infecting fewer people in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, after a disastrous few months in which the number of cases spiked dramatically in the midst of flaring violence.

At least 2,031 people have been infected with the Ebola virus since the outbreak began 10 months ago, according to the Congolese Health Ministry, and 1,367 people have died.


“This outbreak is not under control at this time,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield told the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week. He said the virus could rage in Congo for as long as two years.

Speaking to reporters Thursday in Geneva, Michael Ryan, overseeing the response for the World Health Organization (WHO), agreed.

“In a worse case scenario, I can definitely develop a scenario where this is going to take another year or two years,” Ryan said. “At this point, the outcome is effort-related. Are we prepared to make the immediate, sustained, comprehensive effort to bring this disease under control?”

Global health care officials worry, too, that stockpiles of a new vaccine manufactured by Merck & Co. that has proved efficient in preventing transmission are running low.

More than 130,000 people in the region have been vaccinated, including health care workers, those who have been in contact with an Ebola victim and contacts of those contacts. But WHO recently cut the recommended dose of the vaccine, a reflection of the fact that global supplies are limited.

“Vaccine supply is limited, and there’s a need to accelerate that supply,” Redfield told Congress. “We do project that we are going to run out of vaccine before we get adequate vaccine.”

The number of cases has increased by about 150 in the past two weeks, a much slower growth rate than the previous month, when security incidents and attacks on health care workers slowed or halted the response.

The last major attack claimed the life of a World Health Organization doctor treating Ebola-infected patients in the city of Butembo.

“It’s very early to make any conclusions. We want to make sure we can have access to all communities for active surveillance to make sure we’re not missing cases,” Ibrahima SocÚ Fall, the WHO’s regional emergencies director in Africa, said in an interview. “The last days or weeks have been quiet.”

The prospects for violence still exist. On Monday, a diagnostics laboratory in the town of Komanda was robbed, though no one was hurt. Also on Monday, rebels raided a neighborhood in the city of Beni, in an attack unrelated to the virus that killed a dozen people.

“We’re certainly seeing a huge benefit from a period of relative calm that has existed over the last six weeks,” Ryan said. “Our continued fear is further violence that would disrupt any operations in the field.”

But global health officials worry the virus continues to spread out of sight. The official case and death figures may undercount the number of victims by as much as a quarter, as families try to nurse their relatives back to health rather than seeking treatment.

Less than a quarter of recent cases have come from those who are known contacts of previous victims, Redfield told the House committee. That indicates a large proportion of the transmissions between infected people are occurring outside of the view of health officials responding to the virus.

“We are definitely missing cases, because when you have community deaths like that and probable cases, you are missing transmissions,” Ryan said. “We’re probably detecting in excess of 75 percent of cases. We may be missing up to a quarter of cases.”

The epicenter of the virus in recent months has been in the twin cities of Butembo and Katwa, which together have a population of nearly 1 million people. But as violence has subsided, the virus has moved to a more rural region west of those cities called Mabalako.

Ryan, who visited Mabalako recently, said it may be easier to fight the virus in a less densely populated rural area. But he said Mabalako presents its own challenges.

“The downside is, distances are longer, communities are in much more rural settings, cases are harder to find,” he said.


https://www.bbc.com/news/health-48547983
Quote:
Large Ebola outbreaks new normal, says WHO

Spoiler:
The world is entering "a new phase" where big outbreaks of deadly diseases like Ebola are a "new normal", the World Health Organization has warned.

Previous Ebola outbreaks affected relatively small numbers of people.

But the Democratic Republic of Congo is dealing with the second largest outbreak ever, just three years after the world's largest one ended.

The WHO said countries and other bodies needed to focus on preparing for new deadly epidemics.

What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat.
It progresses to vomiting, diarrhoea and both internal and external bleeding.
People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, faeces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola.
Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure.
There have been 2,025 cases of Ebola and 1,357 deaths from the virus during the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The largest outbreak, in West Africa in 2014-16 affected 28,616 people mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. There were 11,310 deaths.

Yet the 12 outbreaks between 2000 and 2010 averaged fewer than 100 cases.


Media captionTreating Ebola in the DR Congo warzone
So why are modern outbreaks so much bigger?

"We are entering a very new phase of high impact epidemics and this isn't just Ebola," Dr Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO's health emergencies programme told me.

He said the world is "seeing a very worrying convergence of risks" that are increasing the dangers of diseases including Ebola, cholera and yellow fever.

He said climate change, emerging diseases, exploitation of the rainforest, large and highly mobile populations, weak governments and conflict were making outbreaks more likely to occur and more likely to swell in size once they did.

'Get to grips'
Dr Ryan said the World Health Organization was tracking 160 disease events around the world and nine were grade three emergencies (the WHO's highest emergency level).

"I don't think we've ever had a situation where we're responding to so many emergencies at one time. This is a new normal, I don't expect the frequency of these events to reduce."

As a result, he argued that countries and other bodies needed to "get to grips with readiness [and] be ready for these epidemics".

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image caption
Soldiers of the armed forces of the DR Congo prepare to escort health workers
The outbreak in DR Congo continues to worry health officials.

It took 224 days for the number of cases to reach 1,000, but just a further 71 days to reach 2,000.

Tackling the disease has been complicated by conflict in the region - between January and May there were more than 40 attacks on health facilities.

Another problem is distrust of healthcare workers with about a third of deaths being in the community. It means people are not seeking treatment and risk spreading the disease to neighbours and relatives.

Dr Josie Golding, the epidemics lead at the Wellcome Trust, said the world needed to get better at preparing for such outbreaks.

"With Ebola in West Africa, that was the mobility of people and porous borders - that is now the world we live in, that won't stop," she said.

Climate change could lead to more outbreaks like cholera in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai, she said. But she hoped diseases resulting from humanitarian crises would not be a new normal.

"Preparedness needs to be better, we can see movement of populations and climate change, a lot of this we can see coming, and we need more resources to plan and prepare."


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Old 06-13-2019, 12:54 PM
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Question anti-vax lepers <> leopards

Can anti-vaxers change their spots?
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Old 06-13-2019, 04:08 PM
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Taking a position here: Internment camps for anti-vaxxers. It's in everyone (else's) best interest.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:31 AM
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VACCINATIONS


COLORADO
https://coloradosun.com/2019/06/13/p...Kp7H-FDCVujBEY
Quote:
Polis doubles down on education, outreach in vaccination fight as Colorado rates continue to worsen
New statistics released Thursday show that Colorado's vaccination rates for kindergarteners have worsened for some key immunizations. Critics say Polis' efforts don't go far enough.
Spoiler:
After the failure this year of a bill aimed at improving Colorado’s low vaccination rates, and with new statistics showing them getting even worse, Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday signed an executive order directing his administration to study why some parents are reluctant to immunize their children.

The order builds off the Democrat’s belief that in order to boost vaccination rates the state must focus on education rather than making it more difficult to opt out. It contains education and rural access components, and asks state health officials to examine how Colorado’s vaccination policies compare to best practices and to what other states have done.

“We believe that Colorado families should be making their own health care decisions,” he said before signing the bill at a branch of Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood. “At the same time, there are simple steps that we can take to increase the vaccination rate while honoring the ability of parents and families to make their own health care decisions.”


Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks to reporters before signing an executive order on vaccinations Thursday, June 12, 2019. (Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)
Polis called his executive order a third option to “the government forcing people to get shots, which is counterproductive, and simply allowing these rates to go down.”

The order also sets in motion a plan to provide incentives to doctors who receive Medicaid money to offer vaccines and requires state health officials to report their progress in a year, and then every six months.

Make more journalism like this possible with a Colorado Sun membership, starting at just $5 a month.

Critics have argued that Polis’ approach doesn’t go far enough in preventing the outbreak of disease and that a legislative solution is needed. On Thursday, some said that while the executive order is a good step, a real solution would come through legislation.

Dr. Reginald Washington, the chief medical officer for the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, said he favors a legislative fix, but that the order is better than nothing.

“I think there’s a large segment of the population that will be affected by this executive order,” Washington said in an interview after the order was signed. “Is it enough? In my opinion, I don’t think so. But it’s a first step.”

The measure that failed during the 2019 legislative session would have made it more difficult for parents to receive a religious or personal-belief exemption from the immunizations that are required to enroll their children in school. But it still preserved both exemptions in law — something vaccine proponents earlier this year wanted to eliminate.

The legislation was shelved in the final days of the lawmaking term, with Polis’ support in question and after long hearings and protests at the Capitol by opponents of the bill.


State Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Northglenn. (Handout)
Rep. Kyle Mullica, a Denver Democrat and emergency room nurse who sponsored this year’s immunization bill, said legislation is needed to “finish what we started here today.”

“We must continue to work,” he said, adding that he will be working before the 2020 legislative session begins in January on a potential bill to address the issue. “Does this solve all the problems? I don’t think so.”

Polis said the executive order will be covered by existing financial resources but that the legislature could dedicate additional money to the initiative.

“Vaccines are one of the most important elements of public health,” Polis said. “They have ended many plagues that have affected society.”

But while Polis’ executive order calls for increased education, including making sure Coloradans know that children 15 and older can decide for themselves whether to be vaccinated, when a reporter asked him to say that people who don’t immunize their children — known as “anti-vaxxers” — are wrong, he declined.

Read more health stories from The Colorado Sun.

“Wrong about what?” Polis said. “It’s not the decision I made for my kids. I gave my kids their shots, their immunizations. I encourage all parents to give parents immunizations. We have in our state Christian Scientists, we have people who have objections, and nobody should be forced to do anything to their bodies. I’m pro-choice. I think it’s your body and it’s your decision. I’m not about to say any faith is wrong. We have freedom of religion in our country.”

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released new statistics on Thursday showing that vaccination rates are actually worsening in the state.

The rate of kindergarten-aged children who have been immunized with the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine — or MMR — dropped to 87.4% this school year from 88.7% last school year. Hepatitis B vaccinations dropped to 90.8% from 92.1%; polio vaccinations dropped to 87.2% from 88.6%; and chickenpox vaccinations dropped to 86.5% from 87.7%.

Vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough rose to 90.3% from 88.7%.

In 2017, almost 9,500 Colorado kids were treated for vaccine-preventable illnesses at a cost of more than $50 million, the state says. One of those children died.


NEW YORK
https://www.apnews.com/cdab615894c24163a7947d67c6874f2f
Quote:
New York ends religious exemption to vaccine mandates

Spoiler:
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York eliminated the religious exemption to vaccine requirements for schoolchildren Thursday, as the nation’s worst measles outbreak in decades prompts states to reconsider giving parents ways to opt out of immunization rules.

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly voted Thursday to repeal the exemption, which allows parents to cite religious beliefs to forego getting their child the vaccines required for school enrollment.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the measure minutes after the final vote. The law takes effect immediately but will give unvaccinated students up to 30 days after they enter a school to show they’ve had the first dose of each required immunization.


With New York’s move, similar exemptions are still allowed in 45 states, though lawmakers in several of them have introduced their own legislation to eliminate the waiver.

The issue is hotly contested and debate around it has often been emotional, pitting cries that religious freedom is being curtailed against warnings that public health is being endangered. After the vote in the Assembly, many of those watching from the gallery erupted in cries of “shame!” One woman yelled obscenities down to the lawmakers below.

The debate has only intensified with this year’s measles outbreak , which federal officials recently said has surpassed 1,000 illnesses, the highest in 27 years.

New York eliminated the religious exemption to vaccine requirements for schoolchildren Thursday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure minutes after the final vote. Hundreds of parents of unvaccinated children protested at New York's Capitol. (June 14)
“I’m not aware of anything in the Torah, the Bible, the Koran or anything else that suggests you should not get vaccinated,” said Bronx Democrat Jeffrey Dinowitz, the bill’s Assembly sponsor. “If you choose to not vaccinate your child, therefore potentially endangering other children ... then you’re the one choosing not to send your children to school.”

Hundreds of parents of unvaccinated children gathered at New York’s Capitol for the vote to protest.

Stan Yung, a Long Island attorney and father, said his Russian Orthodox religious views and health concerns about vaccines will prevent him from vaccinating his three young children. His family, he said, may consider leaving the state.

“People came to this country to get away from exactly this kind of stuff,” Yung said ahead of Thursday’s votes.

Supporters of the bill say religious beliefs about vaccines shouldn’t eclipse scientific evidence that they work, noting the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1905 that states have the right to enforce compulsory vaccination laws. During the Assembly’s floor debate, supporters brought up scourges of the past that were defeated in the U.S. through vaccines.


“I’m old enough to have been around when polio was a real threat,” said Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, D-Manhattan. “I believe in science.... Your personal opinions, which may be based on junk science, do not trump the greater good.”

Supporters also suggest some parents may be claiming the religious exemption for their children even though their opposition is actually based on scientifically discredited claims about the dangers of vaccines.

The bill would not change an existing state exemption given to children who cannot have vaccines for medical reasons, such as a weakened immune system.

Cuomo told reporters on Wednesday that he believes public health — and the need to protect those who cannot get vaccinated because for medical reasons — outweighs the concerns about religious freedom.

“I understand freedom of religion,” he said. “I have heard the anti-vaxxers’ theory, but I believe both are overwhelmed by the public health risk.”

The current measles outbreak has renewed concern about the exemptions in many states. The nation last saw as many cases in 1992, when more than 2,200 were reported.

The majority of cases are from outbreaks in New York in Orthodox Jewish communities.

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 U.S. and into Canada. Maine ended its religious exemption earlier this year.

Mississippi and West Virginia also do not allow religious exemptions.

Once common in the U.S., measles became rare after vaccination campaigns that started in the 1960s. A decade ago, there were fewer than 100 cases a year.


CALIFORNIA
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jessica...oversial-bill/
Quote:
Jessica Biel joins vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy to oppose bill – but says she's not against vaccinations

Spoiler:
Some members of the California Senate welcomed Jessica Biel on Wednesday to discuss a controversial bill that would tighten medical exemptions for vaccinations. Biel joined anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who lobbied against the bill.


Kennedy posted several photos of the actress on Instagram, writing: "Please say thank you to the courageous @jessicabiel for a busy and productive day at the California State House."


The bill in question, SB 276, would require California's State Department of Public Health to develop a more streamlined medical exemption document for vaccinations. Currently, parents in the state who do not want to get their children vaccinated can submit a written statement by a licensed physician explaining why the immunization is not safe for their child.

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The bill, introduced by State Senator Richard Pan, proposes that by 2021, licensed physicians and surgeons statewide must use a standardized medical exemption request form, and that this form becomes the only one accepted by the state government.

In an Instagram post on Thursday, Biel explained why she personally opposes the bill. "I am not against vaccinations — I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians," she wrote.


Biel said her concern with SB 276 is in regards to medical exemptions. "My dearest friends have a child with a medical condition that warrants an exemption from vaccinations, and should this bill pass, it would greatly affect their family's ability to care for their child in this state," she wrote, explaining this is why she spoke to legislators to argue against the bill.

Her fellow lobbyist, Kennedy, has argued that vaccines, specifically those containing the element thimerosal, may cause autism, a view unsupported by scientific evidence and dismissed as a conspiracy theory by experts.

Pan, who is a pediatrician as well as a state legislator, pushed back against Biel on Twitter. "Promoting misinformation that discourages vaccination defines being an anti-vaxxer," Pan wrote. In another tweet, he pleaded, "Will the 1% please stop trying to spread preventable diseases to the 99%?"


Dr. Richard Pan
@DrPanMD
Promoting misinformation that discourages vaccination defines being an anti-vaxxer. #VaccinesWork #FakeMEsHurtKids #ivax2protect @Vaxyourfam @AmerAcadPeds @AmerMedicalAssn @PublicHealth @CMAdocs @VaccinateCal

Jezebel

@Jezebel
"Jessica said that her doctor recommended the regular vaccine schedule for her kid and she refused." Legislative staffer describes meeting with Jessica Biel and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as they lobbied to kill a bill tightening vaccine exemptions https://trib.al/3OGMFge

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Public health officials say misinformation about vaccines and parents opting out of vaccinating their kids for non-medical reasons are enabling the resurgence of measles, which was previously considered eliminated in the United States. The U.S. is currently experiencing the biggest measles outbreak in more than 25 years, with over 1,000 cases confirmed in 28 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Kennedy, the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy, has argued that external factors, such as vaccines, were causing not only autism, but autoimmune illnesses, allergies and other conditions in children.


While it has been proven that vaccinations do not cause autism, many so-called "anti-vaxxers" are against immunizations, believing these false claims. Other anti-vaxxers argue they have religious objections to vaccines.

10 deadly myths about childhood vaccines
10 deadly myths about childhood vaccines
11 PHOTOS
It is unclear what Biel said while lobbying with Kennedy at California's capital on Wednesday. In 2015, it was rumored that the actress, who has one son with singer Justin Timberlake, was not planning on vaccinating her child. However, Biel has not explicitly called herself an "anti-vaxxer."

Along with Kennedy, Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey and State Senator Brian Jones also posted photos with Biel during her time at the capital. In a tweet, Jones welcomed both Biel and Kennedy, thanking them "for taking the time to chat about your opposition to #SB276." He also included the hashtag #NoOnSB276.

CBS News reached out to representatives for Biel and Kennedy and is awaiting response.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Brian W. Jones
@SenBrianJones
Welcome to #caleg, @RobertKennedyJr and @JessicaBiel! Thank you for taking the time to chat about your opposition to #SB276. #caleg #NoOnSB276

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