Medicine

Washington Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Measles Outbreak

Washington Governor Declares State Of Emergency Over Measles Outbreak

Most of the measles cases involved children between 1 and 10 years old who had not been vaccinated. They're also asking patients with measles symptoms to come later in the day to avoid spreading the illness during busy hours. OR officials didn't provide the age of the adult infected there.

The governor has declared a public health emergency after 34 cases of the viral illness were confirmed. Authorities in neighboring OR and Idaho have issued warnings.

"Measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000, but it's been allowed to return", Peter Hotez, an infectious diseases researcher at Baylor College of Medicine, tells Vox.

But measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world.

And once there are pockets of disease, the possibility of a measles outbreak increases.

The hospital has restricted visitation to labor and delivery, mother-baby and neonatal intensive care units, citing the rise in measles and influenza cases.

"The Washington State Department of Health reminds people to take precautions to help stop the spread of measles", the department said in an online statement, urging soon immunization of children. Castrodale said an outbreak of the disease requires a large number of unvaccinated people, but no data was immediately available on what proportion of Alaskans have received the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

"While we do want to have a heightened level of concern and be aware of measles, there are many more much more common viruses that are circulating", she said.

Adults should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine.

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When asked whether he could guarantee that he would stay until May, Benitez told reporters: "No, I cannot guarantee anything".

"It's all hands on deck".

"The bottom line is, there's no surprise we're seeing this right now", Melnick said. "These costs could have been prevented if we had everybody vaccinated".

Vaccination is the most effective preventative measure and there is data to show that it has saved millions of lives. One vaccine provides 93 per cent immunity from measles, and two shots provide 97 per cent protection.

Now there are ongoing measles outbreaks in the United States in NY and the Pacific Northwest. Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine. If someone who is not immune to the virus breathes the air or touches an infected surface, they can become infected, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both Washington and OR allow vaccine exemptions for personal and philosophical reasons.

Most of the infections have occurred in the Clark County, in southwest Washington.

Also, because of how the virus is spread through sneezing and coughing, the outbreak in Washington is concerning even though it's happening on the other side of the country.

"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children", Inslee said in his proclamation on Friday, adding that these cases create "an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties".

Symptoms of measles generally begin 7-21 days (typically 14-16 days) after a person is exposed to an infected person. This particular outbreak has spread to 31 people who were not immunized and four people who were "unverified". Those people stayed home and later got ill, Armstrong said.