One additional measles case reported in Vancouver outbreak

One additional measles case reported in Vancouver outbreak

Ronald Pratt
January 31, 2019

Since then the number had continued to grow weekly as unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children and adults were exposed, the health department said.

As of Monday, there are 36 confirmed cases of measles in the state of Washington - an outbreak that has already prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency. Authorities say nine additional cases are suspected.

"If you get one dose at 12-months of age and you get one dose at 4-years of age, that should confirm lifetime immunity", said Dr. Fan.

Measles is highly contagious and can be very unsafe for infants, people with weakened immune systems, and those who have not been vaccinated.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. The first known patient sought medical care on December 31, but it is unknown if other people may have gotten sick before that and did not seek treatment.

Measles is a contagious virus that spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing.

In 2000, measles was considered eradicated in the United States, thanks to vaccination. The tragedy is that the deadly disease and its consequences are nearly 100 percent preventable if the population is vaccinated.

As the MMR vaccine can not be administered until age 1 this leaves these young infants at particular risk of contracting the measles if they come into contact with the virus.

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Now that some people aren't getting the vaccine it's becoming a major health issue.

Two states experiencing a measles outbreak, Washington and OR, allow parents to opt out of vaccines simply because they want to. Once a person has measles, about 90% of close contacts who are susceptible to it will develop the disease, she added. The vaccine-exemption rate in Clark County for non-medical reasons was high, at 7.5 percent, Armstrong said. Several days after these initial symptoms, an uncomfortable rash spreads from the face and neck downward through the rest of the body. One case has been confirmed across the river in Portland and another has been identified in Seattle.

Symptoms of measles typically appear between 10 to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus.

In an effort to stop the spread of the illness, the Health Department and partners have provided more than 16,000 vaccinations.

The vaccine provides protection against the illness well into adulthood, but Sammons warns that for those who are too young to be vaccinated or who have chosen not to vaccinate, the illness can be highly contagious and even deadly.

The Washington Military Department, the release says, is organizing resources to assist the DOH and local officials in easing the effects on people, property and infrastructure.

All but eradicated from the United States thanks to comprehensive vaccination programs, measles is still endemic in other parts of the world, and once in a while it hitches a ride to our country via worldwide travel.

"We know that 31 of the cases so far are in un-immunized people, and these are people who are in the age-range that immunization is recommended".