Measles Outbreak Prompts Emergency Declaration in Washington State


OR officials didn't provide the age of the adult infected there.

A public health emergency has been declared in Washington with over two dozen cases of measles. Authorities in neighboring OR and Idaho have issued warnings. "The existence of 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties". The health officials are not only fighting the outbreak but also a spread of misinformation. Public health officials are focused for now on preventing more exposures.

Thirty-five of the confirmed measles patients and all of the suspected cases are located in Clark County.

Health and Welfare is also encouraging people make sure their vaccinations are up to date. "We had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, 2 years old a lovely child, went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic".

In 2018, 17 outbreaks and 349 cases have been reported in 27 jurisdictions of the United States.

MMR vaccine refusal, however, has been on the rise over the last decade. It is paramount that no more people get infected and that the outbreak is contained. "It's all hands on deck", Alan Melnick, the county health officer, tells the AP "Clearly this is going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it wouldn't surprise me if we were in the seven figures by the time we're done here".

U.S. county-level nonmedical vaccine exemption rates, 2016-2017. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control too recently encountered 35 deaths due to measles in Europe, he said. Most people who are diagnosed as having measles are not vaccinated or did not know their vaccination status.

Washington and OR are among the country's many states that allow parents with a personal OR philosophical objection to decline the measles vaccination, among some others. The first MMR dose is recommended at 12 months, the second at 4 to 6 years old.

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Data on Portland's vaccination rate for both shots wasn't immediately available. If you've not received two doses of the vaccine in the past or you're unsure, speak to your GP practice.

The measles vaccine is given as part of the combination MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) injection.

SOLOMON: The outbreak started in southwest Washington's Clark County but has been spreading.

Symptoms of measles typically appear between 10 to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus.

The measles virus spreads through coughing and sneezing and can live in the air where an infected person coughed or sneezed for up to two hours.

The BCCDC issued the warning over the weekend, saying that people who travel to Clark County, in Washington state just outside Portland, Oregon, are at potential risk of exposure to measles, because people with measles can infect others prior to the onset of symptoms like fever and rash.

Who cares if measles are the most contagious of any disease known to man.

In people who have been immunized, it is possible to contract the illness, but it usually has a milder course, Sammons explains. Those people stayed home and later got ill, Armstrong said. These are then followed by a rash that spread all over the body and so-called Kopliks spots on the inside of the mouth.