The pool of unvaccinated children is fueling measles outbreak

File image

File image

Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday declared a state of emergency in light of a cluster of measles cases, mostly in southwestern Washington, that is being declared an outbreak and a public-health crisis. The vaccination status of four others who were infected is unknown.

"The measles virus is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children, and the existence of 26 confirmed cases in the state of Washington creates an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties", he said last week.

In the USA last year, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles.

These rates of non-vaccination are particularly high in the state of OR, which is worrisome considering its close proximity to the outbreak in nearby Clark County, Washington.

In 1978, the CDC set a goal to eliminate measles from the United States by 1982.

For the moment, we're going to stick with the medical facts about measles in general and this particular outbreak, so Seattle's Child readers are armed with what they need to know.

Maple Leafs acquire Jake Muzzin from Kings
Marie Greyhounds for four seasons and was a fifth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2007. A native of Woodstock, Ont., Muzzin played for the Sault Ste.

In B.C., an analysis of the most recent years of data available show 87.3 per cent of children turning two had received one dose of measles vaccine, and 88.4 per cent of children turning seven had received two doses, according to the centre. "Anytime you fall below the 95 percent coverage level diseases can spread a lot more easily", Koenig said.

Measles usually lasts 7 to 10 days.

Officials still are not sure where the U.S. Northwest outbreak began. The typical recommendations are that children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, the first between 12 to 15 months of age and the second between 4 and 6 years old. Inslee notes, "Almost everyone who is not immune will get measles if they are exposed". The outbreak is being closely monitored and one person has been taken to the hospital.

The full vaccine is 97% effective and provides immunity for life. "I'm just so scared", she said. It can be contracted without even being near a person with the virus because it lingers for up to two hours in the air of a room where a person with the measles has been.

Last week, a person infected with measles attended a Portland Trail Blazers home game in OR amid the outbreak.

Washington state officials are now beginning the arduous and costly task of tracking down everyone who might have been exposed to the infection and cautioning them to be on the alert for symptoms, including runny nose, red eyes, fever and rash.

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