Measles Outbreak Sparks State of Emergency in Washington

Measles outbreak prompts state of emergency declaration by Washington governor

Of those cases, 30 people were not immunized and four of them were not verified.

The outbreak - centered in Clark County, a southwestern Washington county that borders Portland, Oregon - has infected more than three dozen people since January 1, Washington health officials say. One child has been hospitalized. There is one case so far in Multnomah County, one in King County, Washington, and now a suspected case in Deschutes County.

The majority of those infected were children, with 25 of the 35 confirmed cases impacting children under 10 years old.

The official announcement released by Washington Governor Jay Inslee advised parents whose children are suspected of having measles to stay at home and seek diagnosis without leaving the house. Authorities in neighboring OR and Idaho have issued warnings.

The outbreak of measles in Washington state is taking place almost two decades after the virus was eliminated in 2000.

Early on, measles can look like many other viral illnesses, but the red blotchy rash that comes with it may help set it apart.

Here's why the current outbreak in Washington is a ideal example of what can happen when parents do not vaccinate their children for philosophical or religious reasons - and how exactly that can put their own kids, and others, at risk.

As NPR reported, "In 2014, there were 667 cases in the U.S".

Officials still are not sure where this Pacific Northwest outbreak began. There are certain procedures in place for taking care of patients with measles.

Denver Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are attempting to contact people directly exposed to the individual.

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Contagious people also went to Portland International Airport, as well as to hospitals, schools, stores, churches and restaurants across Washington's Clark County and the two-state region, county officials said. "We know that we have a highly effective vaccine, and it's really due to under-vaccination that it is coming back". Between one and three cases out of every 1,000 are fatal, he said.

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The CDC also noted that the virus can be prevented with the MMR vaccine. It is paramount that no more people get infected and that the outbreak is contained.

"It's all hands on deck".

Clark County, which includes the Portland bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington, has a measles vaccination rate of 78 percent, well below the 92 to 94 percent rate required for so-called "herd immunity", said Marissa Armstrong, the department's spokeswoman.

"The best way to protect yourself against the measles is to get the measles shot". For more information about measles, see: bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/measles on the BCCDC website.

"CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age".

Virginia does allow vaccine exemptions for religious and medical reasons.

"Many countries throughout the world either do not place a priority on or do not have access to vaccinations, so as people from the United States travel overseas, especially individuals who have not been vaccinated, the likelihood of bringing the disease back here and exposing people at home increases". People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash. It can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space. The statement said going to the doctor's clinic will only put other children and the rest of the public at risk. Serious complications such pneumonia and brain infections can arise from the disease in some cases.

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