Measles Outbreak Worsens in Washington State

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A measles outbreak in Washington state has health professionals from coast to coast, including in southwest Virginia, sharing the importance of vaccinations.

According to figures from Clark County Public Health, 27 of those infected had not gotten a measles vaccine.

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

The majority of the infections are in children younger than 10 years old.

"Measles is highly infectious and spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing, as well as respiratory secretions", said the BCDC.

The airborne illness is so contagious that someone could contract the measles even two hours after a sick person leaves an area.

In this January 25, 2019 photo, a sign at the entrance to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington prohibits all children under 12 and unvaccinated adults due to the number of measles cases in Clark County.

If a high percentage of a given population are immunized against a disease, vaccines can protect event those who are not immune. "Anytime you fall below the 95 percent coverage level diseases can spread a lot more easily", Koenig said.

The vaccination rate in the area is 78 percent, lower than average, and that's making it harder to contain the outbreak.

Since the declaration was made, the number of infected individuals has risen to 35, one in King County and 34 in Clark County. People who are not killed by the disease may still develop serious, lifelong complications.

Eighteen American states, including Washington and OR, allow parents to opt out of vaccinating their children due to "philosophical beliefs", reports CBS News.

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Interesting games ahead, a hard game to call. "Definitely, the results they've had and performances they've had says that", he said.

A measles outbreak in Washington State has triggered a state of emergency.

They announced Monday that others could have been infected at the popular Oregon Museum of Science & Industry in Portland and a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the bedroom community of Vancouver, Washington.

Clark County Public Health, 360-397-8021.

Here's why the current outbreak in Washington is a flawless example of what can happen when parents do not vaccinate their children for philosophical or religious reasons - and how exactly that can put their own kids, and others, at risk.

But children who are immunocompromised - like those who are on steroids or who are undergoing chemotherapy, for example - are also unable to be vaccinated.

"There are 18 states that still allow for personal exemptions, so we are by far in the minority".

The death rate is very low for measles, but state health experts are more anxious about serious complications from it.

Before the vaccine, 400 to 500 people died from the measles each year, 50,000 people were hospitalized and 4,000 people developed brain swelling that can cause deafness, he said. Nationwide, only two percent of children are not immunized due to non-medical concerns.

The MMR vaccine covers measles, mumps and rubella. The introduction of the vaccine, which is 97 percent effective after two doses, dramatically reduced measles rates in the country.

The BCCDC advises people to make sure that their measles vaccination is up to date, especially if they're considering travelling.

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