Washington State Reports More Measles Cases

Desiree Burns
February 6, 2019

Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Alan Melnick said that when there are 21 days without a confirmed case, then he will start breathing easier. One case was in King County and the other 49 were in Clark County, just north of Portland, Oregon. More than 95 percent of individuals who get the vaccine after 12 months of age will develop an immunity to all three viruses. One patient had received only one of the two recommended doses of the vaccine, and the vaccination status of six others was unknown, the county department of health said. One dose of measles vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. Two does are about 97 percent effective.

The highly contagious virus spreads through the air and can linger for up to two hours in an isolated space. She said the Washington outbreak is nearly exclusively in young children that were not vaccinated.

Recent data compiled by Idaho health officials show about 3,800 school-age children in the state likely are not fully immunized for the measles.

The outbreak has lawmakers in Washington state revisiting non-medical exemptions that allow children to attend school without vaccinations if their parents or guardians express a personal objection.

That is why you need to get vaccinated. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward used to be a champion for vaccinations, but she's one of the chief budget writers this session.

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Washington and OR are among 17 states that allow some type of non-medical exemption for vaccines for "personal, moral OR other beliefs", according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Despite measles being declared eradicated in the United States in 2000, there have been periodic outbreaks.

The outbreak investigation, which is ongoing has identified 49 confirmed cases since January 1.

Dr. Waldorf also said, "Pregnant women can become very, very ill with measles and it can result in preterm birth and complications for their child".

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. "There is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury", the agency notes, including deafness, long-term seizures, coma and brain damage or death. Patients are contagious four days before and four days after getting the rash. At least 34 people affected are children between 1 and 10.

"If someone in the room has it and sneezes, and it goes around the room, pretty much anyone in that room will pick up that virus and may get sick from it if they're susceptible to it".

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