Officials urge vaccinations as measles cases rise in Northwest

Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. Peter Hotez says that measles is "one of the most contagious and infectious diseases known to humans."
2:37 | 01/29/19

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Transcript for Officials urge vaccinations as measles cases rise in Northwest
I want to go now to doctor Peter Pope has who studies infectious diseases at the Baylor College of Medicine. Doctor depends. You talk about one how Teague is our measles you mentioned something about help for every one person infected there are twelve to eighteen people at risk is that true. Yeah that's what what the epidemiologist. Tell us and that's what the studies find so measles. Unfortunately is one of the most contagious. Infectious diseases known to humans and and but I think. What we need to point out is the one eat population that's that's at special risk and those are infants. Under each of twelve months not yet old enough to be vaccinated. So in a measles outbreak like this it's that babies who get it the worst in terms measles pneumonia measles encephalitis. And so now we're in this tragic situation where your mother Aaron. And you have an infant under twelve months of the H not you know not being vaccinated yet to be terrified about bringing your baby at Wal-Mart or the public library you name it so it's. It's a very unfortunate situation and totally. Preventable and unnecessary. Is there a threat to those who have been vaccinated. Generally doesn't been vaccinated that vaccine is pretty good it's not perfect of course no vaccine is perfect but if you have waters seem measles vaccinations. You're over 90% protect protected and even if you get measles or be severe and is if you've been. Unvaccinated but I feel very badly you know that the and journalists there mentioned and you know compromise patients' yes that's absolutely true. But the big population at risk right now where those infants how and that can unity and and and so this is a self inflicted wound as was created by the very aggressive anti vaccine lobby in the Pacific northwest and unfortunately. The state legislators in Washington State nor again. Problem but totally bought their message and allow these vaccine exemptions to occur. NASA has been asked Leno the northwest as being anti vaccination is basin geographical issue. What we have found is that we've when we published in the Public Library of Science last year when you hot spot the large numbers of kids not being getting their vaccines. And it seems to be moral western states for not an island eastern states of the Pacific northwest. So Idaho Washington State organ is is pretty bad. Texas where where Ari I have an hour search laboratory is as a pretty bad state Arizona Utah so more western states than eastern states. Thank you so much doctor.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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