Tags: measles | outbreak | epidemic | anti | vaccination

Reports: Health Dept Resources Stressed by Measles Revival

measles virus
The measles virus, paramyxoviridae from the Morbillivirus family, transmission microscopy view. (Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 16 June 2019 02:20 PM

A measles outbreak often blamed on anti-vaccination activism is flooding local health departments and stressing resources, costing taxpayers tens of millions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

New York State Association of County Health Officials expect measles outbreaks since September to cost the state as much as $18.4 million, per the report.

"It's really just astronomical," NYSACHO Executive Director Sarah Ravenhall told the Journal. "Every week the numbers are going up."

New York State Department of Health has "launched an unprecedented public-health response," according to spokeswoman Jill Montag.

"The spread of measles may be slowing down in New York City, but we are not," NYC Health spokesman told the Journal. "We will keep our feet on the gas until we have ended this outbreak."

California has 51 confirmed measles cases as of June 5; Clark County, Washington, had 71 by mid-March; and over 1,000 cases have been confirmed across 28 states this year, including 588 in New York City alone and another 334 in the rest of the state, according to the report.

"If you have something like a measles outbreak, pretty much everyone in your department is going to be working on that," Director of the California Department of Public Health Karen Smith told the Journal.

"It really impacts the entire system."

Clark County has been able to stomp out the epidemic since March 18, logging over 19,000 working hours and spending $800K, according to Clark County Public Health Director Alan Melnick to the Journal.

Dr. Melnick's staff interviewed over 4,000 people, quarantined and daily monitored 800, and kept 850 kids out of school, according to the report.

"It was kind of a nightmare, in terms of the work load," Dr. Melnick told the Journal. "Public health is underfunded at all levels, and this is $800,000 spent on something completely preventable."

California has spent $400K on 44 cases from Jan. 1-May 10, according to state Sen. Richard Pan, and $80K on three cases at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the Journal's report.

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A measles outbreak often blamed on anti-vaccination activism is flooding local health departments and stressing resources, costing taxpayers tens of millions, according to The Wall Street Journal....
measles, outbreak, epidemic, anti, vaccination
Sunday, 16 June 2019 02:20 PM
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