Protect Idaho. Get vaccinated

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

By: Karen Sharpnack, Idaho Immunization Coalition Executive Director

You may have seen a scary headline about measles recently. Itís been confirmed: there are two measles cases in Idaho, both from Latah County. This comes in the midst of the largest outbreak of measles in the country since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.

Since January 1, 2019, there have been more than 1,000 cases of measles in the U.S., transported unwittingly by contagious persons wherever they go; county to county and state to state. We saw in the winter and spring how quickly measles spread across Washington and Oregon, flourishing in areas where immunization rates were low.

In order to prevent a disease from spreading, it is recommended that 95% of the population be immunized, thereby achieving herd immunity.

Unfortunately, some school districts in Idaho have immunization rates as low as 33.3%. These school districts are not far from Latah County, where these two cases were confirmed. Neighboring Idaho, Kootenai, and Shoshone counties all have low enough rates to allow for the rapid spread of disease.For the full story, pick up a copy of the Mountain Home News or click on this link to subscribe to the newspaper's online edition.