Health Care

State of Emergency Declared Over Washington Measles Outbreak

State of Emergency Declared Over Washington Measles Outbreak”

For more information about measles, see: on the BCCDC website. Now, 35 cases have been confirmed in Clark County, a southwestern county that includes Vancouver, and 11 potential cases are awaiting confirmation. According to NPR's Vanessa Romo and Patti Neighmond, there were 36 confirmed and 11 suspected measles cases as of Monday.

In Friday's statement, Inslee said, "Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children". Hawaii also reported two cases in visitors from Washington who were infected before traveling to the islands.

Clark County officials have compiled a list of dozens of public places-among them stores, medical clinics, churches, schools and the Portland International Airport-where people may have been exposed to the infection. Thirty-two Clark County cases are unimmunized, and four are unverified. As a result, people may not know they are carrying the disease and could easily unwittingly expose others to the extremely contagious virus.

Measles virus travels through the air.

Park sent a medical advisory to health providers throughout the state January 16 saying that "although the visitors were advised to remain isolated and likelihood of exposure to others is low, providers should be aware the period of infectivity while in Hawaii ranged from January 4-13", the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports.

Washington state has declared a state of emergency in Clark County, which is just north of Portland, Ore., because of a measles outbreak there. The majority of the cases involve children younger than 10. So far in 2019, a single case of measles was reported in an adult traveller returning from the Philippines. The vaccine-exemption rate in Clark County for non-medical reasons was high, at 7.5 percent, Armstrong said. People who are not killed by the disease may still develop serious, lifelong complications.

The full vaccine is 97% effective and provides immunity for life. To this day, it still kills 100,000 children a year worldwide, most under the age of five.

Before mass vaccination, 400 to 500 people in the United States died of the measles every year, 50,000 people were hospitalized and 4,000 people developed brain swelling that can cause deafness, Melnick said.

The number of measles cases almost tripled in 2018 to 349 over 2017, when only 120 cases were reported. The CDC attributed the jump to primarily unvaccinated people in the Orthodox Jewish communities in New York state, New York City and New Jersey.

But for those people who choose not to vaccinate their kids, one state lawmaker is trying to change that.

The CDC also noted that the virus can be prevented with the MMR vaccine. A second immunization is the MMRV vaccine, which protects children from measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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