Measles Outbreak Concerns Washoe County Health Department

Desiree Burns
February 2, 2019

Since Jan. 1, we have identified 42 confirmed cases and seven suspect cases. It has now hit 37. Although Chelan and Douglas Counties do not now have a confirmed case of measles, public health officials are working closely with school districts and healthcare providers to ensure students and staff are up to-date on their vaccines. Of the 35 confirmed cases of the age-old illness, 31 of the infected have never been vaccinated against the disease. The King County measles case involved a middle-aged man who visited Clark County where he likely contracted the virus and has since recovered.

According to the Washington Department of Health, vaccination rates in Pullman schools hover around 90 percent. Get vaccinated now! For more information on the current measles outbreak, please visit Washington State 2019 Measles Outbreak. DO NOT go to the doctor's office, the hospital or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your possible contact with measles. The Washington Military Department is also coordinating resources to support the statewide effort as well as local officials in alleviating the impacts to people, property and infrastructure.

Health officials traced the outbreak in Washington to an unvaccinated global traveler.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared measles "eliminated" from the United States in 2000, but adherents of an anti-vaxx movement, tied in part to concerns over links between vaccines and autism, has led many parents to skip the shot, opening the door to potential infection. Because measles is contagious even before people realize they are sick, people who are not vaccinated may unknowingly spread the virus. Anyone who is not vaccinated against rubella is at risk of getting the disease.

Measles symptoms include high fever, cough, red and watery eyes, and a rash that usually appears around three days after symptoms first manifest. Nine out of ten people who are not immune and share living space with an infected person will be infected.

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