Measles case confirmed in Vancouver; not linked to Washington outbreak

Kebby Johnson center of Spokane Wash. holds a sign that reads

Kebby Johnson center of Spokane Wash. holds a sign that reads"Say No to HB 1638" as she waits in line Friday Feb. 8 2019 to attend a public hearing before the House Health Care & Wellness Committee at the Capitol in Olympia Wash. Amid a measles

The patient, a Vancouver resident, was diagnosed on Thursday as having the virus, but the period during which it is considered infectious has since passed, said Shaf Hussain, a spokesman for Vancouver Coastal Health.

Measles, a highly contagious disease once thought all but eradicated in the developed world, is making a comeback, and it's all thanks to anti-immunization efforts in recent years, says a recent report from the World Health Organization which says a record number of measles cases were reported in Europe in 2018, due in part to growing pockets of the population where parents are refusing to immunize their children. Typically, measles patients can be treated at home, rather than in hospitals, Hussain said.

Meanwhile, the ages of those who were affected by measles ranged from one month old to 75 years old, with 34 percent of the cases were one to four years old and 27 percent were less than nine months old. A surge in measles cases prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency January 25.

Nicole Wilson, 32, told the paper she and her boyfriend were "already thinking" about moving out of Washington to avoid vaccinating her unborn child, saying of health officials: "I'll tell you something".

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Clark County Public Health has been regularly updating its list of locations where people may have been exposed to measles.

The virus spreads through the air and can linger for up to two hours in an isolated space. Complications can include inflammation of the brain, convulsions, deafness, brain damage and death.

Measles symptoms begin with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Most people recover within a week or two. People born before 1970 are likely immune; but if they aren't sure whether they have had the infection, they can safely get the MMR vaccine.

With over 50 confirmed cases of measles in Washington state, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would eliminate personal or philosophical exemptions to being vaccinated from measles, mumps and rubella.

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