News

Measles update

North Dakota Health Department confirmed last week to another news source that they are testing for measles in the state.

Republican

Posted on 2/21/15

By Melissa Anderson

The representative who spoke to the news source stated that the Health Department had conducted tests for measles on three individuals. Two tests had come back negative and the state was waiting for results on the third test.

From January 1 to February 13, 2015, 141 people from 17 states and Washington DC were reported to have measles. Most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing multi-state outbreak linked to an amusement park in California.

According to the CDC, the majority of the people who contracted the measles were not vaccinated. The North Dakota Department of Health, along with doctors and other health officials across the state, are encouraging people to get vaccinated.

The North Dakota Department of Health representative informed the news source that “the disease is on doctor’s radar and results for a measles test takes about three to five days”.

Steph Welsh, a nurse with the Cavalier County Public Health Districts stated that there has not been a significant increase in vaccinations in Cavalier County but there has been an increase in calls and interest in being up-to-date.

“[It’s] good that people are aware” Walsh stated in regards to the calls.

The Cavalier County Public Health District has not seen any cases that could possibly be measles either.

Annabelle Sauer McGhie, a life long resident of Langdon told her story of when she had the measles. McGhie explained that she contracted measles when she was 17 years old. At the time there were not vaccines against the disease.

“Daylight made it worse” McGhie stated.

McGhie suffered from complications of measles and the disease caused damage to her eyes requiring her to wear glasses for the rest of her life.

McGhie also recalled how one of her neighbors, a young girl, died from the measles.

Having had the measles, McGhie has only one response to the question of whether or not parents should vaccinate.

“Absolutely vaccinate.”

Another update previously missed when the original measles story ran was that Merck & Co.  is currently facing a whistleblower lawsuit in regards to its MMR vaccine. Merck, which is the sole patent holder in the United States of the MMR vaccine is accused by two virologists that previously worked for the company of falsifying data in regards to the success rate of the vaccine particularly that of the mumps aspect of the MMR.

In the lawsuit, which dates back to 2010 and is ongoing, the virologists claim that Merck falsified the data to meet the CDC requirement of 95 percent effectiveness to maintain its patent ownership and government contracts as the only supplier for the MMR vaccine. Thus far Merck has denied wrongdoing.