Cruise ship with measles case in Saint Lucia won’t dock in Barbados

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Christine Finley, the immunization program manager with the Vermont Department of Health, and Dr. Rebecca Bell, a pediatric critical care physician at The University of Vermont Medical Center, join Vermont Edition to discuss state vaccination rates, treating vaccine-preventable infections, and the questions they hear about vaccinations and vaccine hesitancy. The seriousness of the issue can be judged by the fact that the American president, Donald Trump has urged people to get vaccinated for measles in order to be safe from the deadly disease. I kept her up to date on her vaccinations. "Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red, watery eyes and sore throat".

The last case of Measles was reported in Belize in 1991, but this should not be cause for nonchalance, the doctor said because it only takes one case to have a sweeping effect.

People are contagious from four days before the rash develops until four days after.

But there's a snag: From 1963 to 1967, doctors used different types of measles vaccines before discovering that one - the "killed" version - was ineffective. "We've been able to vaccinate them on the spot", Tammy Petrey with Mills Pharmacy said.

"Is it right to expose a group of people - and particularly those who can't have the vaccine such as babies - to these diseases as a outcome of people not being vaccinated?" he asked. For anyone who's unsure, the CDC says you can simply roll up your sleeve for another dose or two. The state saw the proportion of kindergarten students who received all mandated vaccines rise to 95.1 percent a year ago, from 92.8 percent in 2015.

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"I think we need to have a proper debate so, if it happens, people know why it is happening and are going to accept it rather than it just being imposed without that debate".

Azar and other officials have largely blamed the outbreaks on the spread of misinformation, including a belief debunked by scientific studies that vaccine ingredients can cause autism.

When the CDC and other public health authorities are called to investigate possible transmission on aircraft, they try to figure out who may have had contact with the infected person - including people who may have been sitting nearby.

"When Jenny McCarthy [TV actress and the prominent face of the anti-vaxx movement] gets on TV and says 'I'll take the measles every time, ' that tells you something important", says Offit. The highly contagious disease was eliminated in the country in 2000, but it's making a comeback, hitting close-knit communities with low vaccination rates particularly hard.

More than half, or 58 percent (18,923) of the measles cases involved patients who were not inoculated with the anti-measles vaccine.

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