1 in 4 kindergartners aren't fully vaccinated in county with measles outbreak

30 January, 2019, 00:55 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Measles outbreak prompts state of emergency declaration by Washington governor

The measles outbreak near Portland has sickened 35 people in OR and Washington since January 1, with 11 more cases suspected, as of Monday.

"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children", Gov. Inslee stated in his proclamation.

Those who may have been exposed should watch for early symptoms of fever and malaise and then a rash starting on the head and moving down the body. As a result, people may not know they are carrying the disease and could easily unwittingly expose others to the extremely contagious virus.

Washington Department of Health officials announced that as of Monday afternoon there have been 36 confirmed cases and 11 suspected cases of the disease.

One case also has been confirmed in King County, which is home to Seattle and one was confirmed Friday evening in Multnomah County, which is home to Portland.

Since the declaration was made, the number of infected individuals has risen to 35, one in King County and 34 in Clark County.

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In the Clark County cases, numerous infected folks visited hubs in the community where there are larger crowds.

At least one case linked to the Washington outbreak had been reported in Oregon's Multnomah County as of Friday. And according to the World Health Organization, the anti-vaccination movement is proving to be one of the biggest global health threats in 2019.

"Two weeks after the exposure you might see some cases, and those people who got sick are exposing other people". Thanks to the high numbers of unvaccinated children, "this epidemic could last a while".

In Clark County, the area that's been worst affected in the current outbreak, 7.9 percent of children entering kindergarten were exempted from vaccination as of the 2017-2018 school year, The Washington Post reports The overall measles vaccination rate in the county, according to the AP, is just 78 percent-far short of the more than 92 percent recommended to provide immunity for the community.

The disease was considered eradicated in the United States, but has been spiking in the Pacific northwest. It can be contracted without even being near a person with the virus because it lingers for up to two hours in the air of a room where a person with the measles has been. "Some outright lies, that when put all together, reveal a very terrifying picture of vaccination", Marcus said. The measles vaccine is available as a combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and is available from your local health unit, family doctor, and many pharmacists.

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