Speed Reads

Another point for vaccines

55 measles cases reported in Pacific Northwest as outbreak grows worldwide

Cases of measles in the Pacific Northwest are continuing to rise at a rapid rate, with 55 reported instances in 2019 as of Thursday, reports NPR.

The majority of cases have affected unvaccinated children and are located near the disease's epicenter in Clark County, Washington. The Pacific Northwest has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S., per NPR, and Washington is one of 17 states that allows parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children for "philosophical exemptions."

"In 2000, measles was declared eliminated from the United States, thanks to widespread vaccination campaigns," writes NPR, but 11 states have reported cases this year.

Rates have increased substantially across the globe, and cases tripled in Europe from 2017 to 2018, per VICE News. Ukraine led Europe in total measles cases in 2018, with more than 50,000. Ukraine had a 31 percent vaccination rate in 2016, reports VICE.

In order to prevent an outbreak, vaccination rates should be around 90 to 95 percent, per NPR. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently tracking three different outbreaks in New York City, New York state and Washington state.