Measles Outbreak Prompts Emergency Declaration in Washington State

Measles Outbreak Prompts Emergency Declaration in Washington State

Washington and OR are two of 18 USA states that allow this. By Monday, the Washington's department of health confirmed 35 cases of measles in Clark County - which includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, near Portland, Oregon - and one in King County, the county in which Sea-Tac airport is located. Health officials are looking at a number of other suspected cases. The majority of the cases involve children younger than 10. According to the CDC, 90 percent of non-immunized individuals near an infected person will contract it. Measles spreads through the air, and the virus can live for up to two hours in the airspace where an infected person coughed or sneezed. The first known patient sought medical care on December 31, but it is unknown if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment. "While most people have had the measles vaccination, it's important to know your vaccination status and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of measles so you can get medical attention".

The measles virus is airborne, and is transmitted by respiratory droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person, usually through coughing or sneezing. Vaccination with 2 doses of MMR is required to attend schools and colleges in CT, however, students with medical or religious exemptions may attend school without being vaccinated.

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. A level of 95 per cent is recommended in order to prevent the disease from spreading, it said.

MMR vaccine refusal, however, has been on the rise over the last decade.

Dr Kristina Poole, consultant in health protection at PHE North West, said: "Measles is a very infectious virus and can spread rapidly among communities if people have not been fully immunised".

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one or two out of every 1,000 children infected with measles will die from severe complications.

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"Two weeks after the exposure you might see some cases, and those people who got sick are exposing other people".

Most of the infections have occurred in the Clark County, in southwest Washington. This is followed by a rash of flat, red spots which cover the body and are accompanied by a high fever.

The final confirmed case involved a patient between 19 and 29 years old. "The single best way to protect yourself and your children from measles is to be vaccinated", said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. The proportion of children receiving no vaccine doses by 2 years old rose from 0.9% among those born in 2011 to 1.3% among those born in 2015, the CDC reported in October.

Hawaii allowed the infected visitors to leave five days after the onset of measles, which can be spread to others four days before and four days after the rash begins, according to the Oregonian.

The full vaccine is 97% effective and provides immunity for life.

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