Medicine

Officials urge vaccinations amid Northwest measles outbreak

Officials urge vaccinations amid Northwest measles outbreak

In Clark County, however, vaccination rates have been dropping.

"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children", Gov. Inslee stated in his proclamation.

The governor has declared a public health emergency after 34 cases of the viral illness were confirmed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there were 349 confirmed cases of measles in 2018 in 26 states, including Virginia.

"Measles can spread before we even know it is here", said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state communicable disease epidemiologist, "and it can find its way quickly into pockets of unvaccinated people".

Health officials say the outbreak is a textbook example of why it's critical to vaccinate against measles, which was eradicated in the US after the vaccine was introduced in 1963.

In the Clark County cases, numerous infected folks visited hubs in the community where there are larger crowds.

Clark County has so far poured $100,000 into trying to contain the outbreak, with staff being reassigned from other duties to help manage the public health effort.

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Measles virus travels through the air. The virus can live for up to two hours wherever an infected person has coughed or sneezed.

If you may have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms, immediately notify your healthcare provider BY TELEPHONE explaining a possible measles exposure and symptoms.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced today that it has confirmed a case of measles in a New Haven County adult, the first confirmed case this year in the state. The vaccination status for the remaining four is, for now, unclear.

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

"As a pediatrician and parent, I find it frustrating because this is happening among children who are dependent on their parents' decision-making", said Wendy Swanson, a pediatrician and chief of digital innovation at Seattle Children's Hospital. Although it's not clear where he became infected, the man said he'd recently traveled to Clark County.

The CDC also says the rise in measles cases is tied to an increase in the number of travelers who get measles overseas and bring it into the U.S.

An outbreak like the one in Washington shows how easily the disease can spread among unvaccinated children and that once there is a pocket of the measles, it can easily spread. To this day, it still kills 100,000 children a year worldwide, most under the age of five. The highly contagious childhood infection, which is caused by a virus, is considered extremely rare, with only 188 reported cases in the United States in 2015.

People may have been exposed to the disease at about four dozen locations, including Portland International Airport and a Portland Trail Blazers game, officials said.


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