Amid measles outbreak, Islanders debate mandatory vaccinations

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Health advocates are pushing lawmakers for vaccine legislation amid a measles outbreak in Texas and other states.

It is recommended that babies get vaccinated against the disease when they are 12 months old.

The Angus Reid survey found that 70 per cent of respondents believe vaccinations against common deadly diseases should be mandatory for school-aged kids. The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is publicly-funded and available from pharmacists in almost every community, the association said in a news release Friday.

"We are hoping to encourage more to become immunized", she said in an email.

The total number stands at 64 confirmed cases and two suspected cases.

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The Iowa state Senate Tuesday rejected a bill Tuesday that would have prohibited health insurance providers and insurance companies from discriminating against people who refuse to get vaccinated.

While there has been attention in the media recently related to outbreaks of measles in multiple states, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) can verify that there are no current outbreaks of measles in Kansas.

High percentages of vaccinated children results in "herd immunity, " which helps prevent contagious diseases from spreading.

The U.S.is also experiencing travel-related outbreaks, with 127 cases of measles confirmed in 10 states between January 1 and February 14, with Washington and NY states particularly hard hit by the disease, says a report by the Centers for Disease Control.

"If you feel you have been exposed to measles and have symptoms, call your doctor in advance of an appointment", Mema said. From measles, this includes brain damage and death. Moreover, a person with measles "will infect 90 percent of the folks who are susceptible around them".

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Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads through the air.

The recent outbreak has caused the department to take a closer look at immunization rates here on the Island.

There are now 17 states, including Washington where a measles outbreak began last month, that allow parents to opt out of having their children vaccinated for "philosophical beliefs".

"There's a small percentage out there that has some misinformation and perhaps aren't making what would be the best choices for their children and here's a good opportunity to try to clarify some of that", Dr. Hasselback said.

Bilodeau says that he now knows that there is no link between getting vaccinated and autism.

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"When you reach a certain proportion of individuals in that state, the inevitability of an outbreak occurs and this is a serious circumstance", he added.

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