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Measles outbreak continues

May 27, 2014 01:15 pm

The measles outbreak declared in late April in the Edmonton, Calgary and central portions of the province stepped a little closer to home over the May long weekend, as a local location of potential exposure was listed on a May 24 Alberta Health Services advisory.

Attendees of a private function at the Ashmont Agriplex on May 18 are being cautioned to watch for symptoms of the disease, and the number of confirmed cases in the province continues to rise.

The spread of a disease that, just a few years ago, was hardly talked about is alarming. Although it may not be cause for mass panic, it is important for residents to stay informed about the spread of the disease.

Regardless of a personís choice to vaccinate or not, accessing proper and credible information on the topic is crucial. As measles continues to spread, so does the amount of misinformation and extreme points of view.

With some parents choosing not to vaccinate their families, AHS has repeatedly sent out messages in the media and health advisories to encourage the public to vaccinate. The topic of people choosing not to vaccinate themselves or their young children has become even more contentious since the outbreak was declared.

Although forced vaccination probably isnít a proper solution, a correlation between a reduction in vaccinations in Canada and the reemergence of the disease has been noted and canít be ignored.

Ensuring public health and reducing the spread of a disease is paramount. The measles outbreak has brought about the idea of requiring those attending large, public settings, such as schools and daycares, to be required to vaccinate, and thatís a conversation that needs to take place.

After all, when a parentís decision to not vaccinate their child has potential affects to another child, or the public at large, it no longer is strictly a personal decision.

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