Washington declares public health emergency after measles outbreak of mostly unvaccinated children

Desiree Burns
January 30, 2019

Abigail Eckhart is one parent who is refusing to vaccinate her youngest son because she said her middle child suffered severe reactions.

Restrictions on hospital visitation have yet to make it as far as Cottage Grove. Most of the measles cases involved children between 1 and 10 years old who had not been vaccinated. One adult is infected, and the rest are teenagers.

There are at present 31 cases of measles in Clark County and the numbers are on the rise, warn health officials. Authorities in neighboring OR and Idaho have issued warnings.

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.

Last year, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases of measles in the U.S. The health officials are not only fighting the outbreak but also a spread of misinformation. Certain groups need two doses of MMR, including: college students, health care workers, worldwide travelers, and persons at high risk for measles complications.

Park sent a medical advisory to health providers throughout the state January 16 saying that "although the visitors were advised to remain isolated and likelihood of exposure to others is low, providers should be aware the period of infectivity while in Hawaii ranged from January 4-13", the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports.

In the United States, people who are unvaccinated usually catch measles while traveling in other countries and then spread it to other unvaccinated people upon their return, which can start outbreaks, according to the CDC.

But the vaccine is less effective in those under a year old and is generally not given to infants.

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However, Mr Corbyn has rejected the invitation until she rules out a no deal possibility on the UK's departure. Conservative supportSarah Wollaston said the amendment was 'disappointing.

"If we even get one case, we'll declare an outbreak", said Davis.

The virus has mostly infected kids under 10, according to the Associated Press.

Measles-infected people went to Portland International Airport, the city's IKEA and local sports games, raising the risk of contagion, the Herald reported.

"It's all hands on deck". And we wouldn't be dealing with this if we had vaccination rates up. OR also has a high nonmedical exemption rate for vaccinations-one 2018 state analysis found a rate among kindergarteners of 7.5 percent, with the number for K-12 students climbing as high as 10 percent in some counties. "The best protection against measles is vaccination".

Meanwhile, the state legislature has introduced a bill that would ban personal exemptions for the measles vaccine.

Data on Portland's vaccination rate for both shots wasn't immediately available. If you've not received two doses of the vaccine in the past or you're unsure, speak to your GP practice. Forty-seven states - all but California, Mississippi and West Virginia - allow parents to opt out of vaccines if they have religious beliefs against immunizations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The vaccine-exemption rate in Clark County for non-medical reasons was high, at 7.5 percent, Armstrong said. People with measles may be contagious up to 4 days before the rash appears and for four days after the day the rash appears. It can remain in the air for up to two hours in an isolated space.

"Measles is a highly contagious disease and if you don't have immunity, you can get it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been", said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County.

Earlier this week, authorities were successful in identifying several people who had been exposed but were not sick yet.

The most recognizable symptom is a red, blotchy rash. It can cause serious complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis, and can be deadly.

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