2 unrelated cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver

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Efforts to battle the outbreak are also hampered by political infighting.

Hayden also said the cases aren't linked: "We have a bit of a mystery".

Outbreaks of measles have been confirmed in Washington and NY states.

In an update on the measles outbreak in the New York City metro area, eleven additional confirmed cases of measles have been reported in the Rockland County and Brooklyn areas this past week.

In early October, three cases of measles were confirmed in Antanarivo, the capital of Madagascar.

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Dr. Mario Panaligan, president of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, said children and adults can easily contract the disease if they are not immune to it. The governments of NY and Washington have already begun to crack down and slow the spread of the disease, with proposed measures to narrow the number of immunization exemptions for school children and requiring certain vaccinations for children in daycare.

In Toronto, public health authorities last week warned that some travellers through Pearson International Airport on January 27 may have been exposed to measles. "We would be much less concerned about it if we knew exactly where it came from".

California revoked the option for philosophical exemptions following a 2014 outbreak of measles that was traced to youngsters at Disneyland who had not been vaccinated.

Spokespeople at the Fraser, Interior, Island and Northern health authorities said Wednesday that they had not heard of any suspected or confirmed cases of the disease in their regions. Many of these cases have been concentrated in the northwest, with the governor of Washington declaring an emergency after an outbreak of 26 cases.

She said Republicans in general support the rights of the public to make medical decisions, but she would prefer those decisions to be informed with facts from physicians and peer-reviewed science.

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Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to Vancouver Coastal Health.

Infections have been reported in some of the poorest and most densely-populated regions of the country including Metro Manila, which is home to 12 million people.

Helping children access vaccinations despite their parents' objections is a valuable way to protect public health in communities where the risks are the greatest. People who have never received a measles vaccine are susceptible to the disease, which can be deadly. That's similar to Washington, which allows parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children because of personal beliefs.

Philippine Pediatric Society president Salvacion Gathchalian, one of the forum panelists, said babies who are one to six months old could be protected from measles if their mothers have been vaccinated against the disease when they were young or at least four weeks before their pregnancy. Last week alone, more than 3,100 people contracted measles, half of them children.

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